The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

 

When it comes to any party holiday, it is safe to assume that there will be a lot of drinking. Under normal circumstances, drinking is fine. However, some people still think it is okay to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. When a person does that, they increase their chances of getting into a very serious accident that could kill someone.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a person is injured in a drunk driving accident every 2 minutes in the US. This number comes from a 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. On top of that, an estimated 300,000 people drive drunk every single day in the US, and only around 2,800 people are arrested for the crime daily. These numbers have a tendency to go up around holidays that involve heavy partying and drinking.

 Drunk Driving and DUI Checkpoints

Driving drunk is illegal in every single state in the US. Alcohol greatly impairs a person’s ability to make decisions and to react in a timely manner. This means it severely reduces a person’s ability to drive. Drunk drivers struggle to drive straight, maintain a proper speed, and react appropriately to sudden changes.

In order to reduce the chances of people causing accidents while driving drunk, many law enforcement agencies setup DUI checkpoints. The hope is that these checkpoints will catch drunk drivers before they cause a deadly accident. While DUI checkpoints may cause some traffic congestion, they are done in an attempt to keep people safe.

DUI checkpoints are always posted in advanced, to give people the ability to avoid them if they want to. The checkpoint is usually setup in an area that will receive a lot of traffic, especially from bars and parties. Cars will pass through, one by one, and officer will speak with the driver of each vehicle. They will ask a few questions, such as:

  • License and registration.
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been drinking?

Once they have asked their questions, so long as they don’t suspect anything, the driver will be allowed to continue on their way. However, if the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking, they will be asked to pull over to the side where another officer will conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver fails that, they will either need to call for someone to come pick them up or sit in a drunk tank until they have sobered up.

 Marijuana and DUI

California recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and as such, some people are still fuzzy on what is and isn’t allowed with the drug. One of the big things that isn’t allowed, but most people think is okay, is driving while high. Some people don’t see a problem with it, but it can impair a person as much as alcohol can.

Marijuana can worsen a person’s reaction time, meaning they are less likely to be able to avoid an accident. High drivers also struggle with maintaining a proper speed, and suffer from impaired judgement.

The bottom line? Don’t drive high.

 Penalties of DUI

Some people don’t know that DUI stands for driving under the influence. This can mean driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and even certain drug prescriptions. Since DUI can lead to very serious, even fatal accidents, law enforcement agencies take the crime very seriously.

A person accused of DUI can face the following consequences for a first time offense:

  • 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 6 month driver’s license suspension.
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

 

Any following offenses come with harsher penalties, and if someone is severely hurt or killed because of a drunk driver, then that person will face felony charges, which for a first time offense includes:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • Anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Paying restitutions to the victim.
  • A suspended driver’s license or having an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) installed in their car for one year.
  • 18 to 30 months of DUI school.

 Don’t Drink and Drive

A person should never drive when they are drunk or high, and they especially shouldn’t do it around holidays. One such example would be Labor Day. For most people, it is a nice day off that gives them a three day weekend to enjoy with their friends and family members. Parties and barbeques can be found everywhere that weekend. This year, the holiday falls on Monday, September 2nd. Most of the celebrations will be taking place on Saturday or Sunday, leaving Monday for some recovering.

No matter how a person celebrates this upcoming holiday, or any other day for that matter, they should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk or high. With today’s technology, there are plenty of ways for a person to get home from taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. A person can always find a safe way home. There is no excuse for driving drunk.


Yes, Driving Under the Influence Is a Terrible Idea

Yes, Driving Under the Influence Is a Terrible Idea

Yes, Driving Under the Influence Is a Terrible Idea

 

Most people would agree that getting into a vehicle accident would be horrible. After all, car collisions can be catastrophic and even fatal. However, despite the fact that no one wants to get into an accident, there are some people out there who participate in risky behavior that increases the chances of an accident occurring.

One of the easiest instances to avoid, yet is still one of the most common, is drunk driving. Driving while intoxicated, or high on marijuana and other drugs, is a terrible idea. When a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not only are they less in control of their bodies, their thinking is impaired as well. This can lead to risky behavior that can easily cause an accident. That is why driving under the influence is illegal everywhere in the country, including California.

 Drunk Driving Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly 10,500 people died due to alcohol impaired driving in 2016. This amounted to just over 25% of all traffic related deaths in the United States. In 2016, over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), which is about 1% of all self-reported incidents of drunk driving in the US.

The CDC also reports that drugs are involved in roughly 16% of motor vehicle accidents. They also report that incidents of marijuana usage and driving are increasing with each year. 13% percent of nighttime and weekend drivers have marijuana in their systems.

The CDC has also found that drivers involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes were 4.5 times more likely to have prior DUI’s on their record than drivers with no alcohol in their systems.

 The Law Here in California

Due to the increased risk factors associated with driving under the influence, there are federal laws and states laws all over the country that criminalize the act. Here in California, Vehicle Code (VC) 23152 makes it illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

An important note is that according to this law, drugs are any intoxicating substance. This means that drugs can be anything from marijuana to prescription medicine. Basically, if something makes a person loopy or inebriated, they should not be driving with that substance in their system.

DUI is typically a misdemeanor charge, unless a person has more than four DUI charges against them in a 10 year period or the accident hurt/killed someone.

Misdemeanor penalties for a DUI can include:

  • Informal probation.
  • Maximum of 1 year in jail.
  • A base fine of no more than $1,000.
  • A suspended driver’s license.
  • DUI school.
  • Victim restitutions.
  • Community service.
  • AA/NA meetings.
  • Impounded vehicle.
  • Instillation of a breathalyzer ignition system.

Felony charges of DUI can include:

  • Formal probation.
  • Prison time anywhere from 1 year to life.
  • Base fine of no more than $5,000.
  • DUI school.
  • Victim restitution.
  • Community service.
  • AA/NA meetings.
  • Impounded vehicle.
  • Instillation of a breathalyzer ignition system.

Aside from the above, regardless of charges, a drunk driving charge or accident can greatly increase insurance rates for a driver as well.

 Never Drink and Drive

There is no excuse for driving under the influence, especially with today’s modern technology. Thanks to apps like Lyft and Uber, there is always a way for a person to get a ride home. Failing that, there is always public transportation such as buses and taxis. Lastly, a person can typically call family or friends for a ride. Most people would rather be woken up in the middle of the night by a drunk friend asking for a ride rather than by an officer telling them their loved one had an accident while driving drunk.

If a person is at home and finds themselves craving a snack, they don’t have to go out to get pick one up. Many restaurants deliver, and the ones that don’t, can still offer delivery through apps such as Grubhub and Uber Eats. Even Amazon can make quick deliveries of some items in big cities.

All of this amounts to the fact that no one should ever get behind the wheel while intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs. Doing so would not only risk the driver’s life, but the lives of any passengers, as well as the lives of passing drivers and pedestrians. Don’t ever put so many people at risk. Stay safe and let someone else drive after having a few beers.


Don’t Get a DUI on Saint Patrick’s Day

Don’t Get a DUI on Saint Patrick’s Day

Don’t Get a DUI on Saint Patrick’s Day

 

Saint Patrick’s Day is almost here, and people all over the country are making plans to go out and party. This green holiday is one of the biggest of the year when it comes to drinking. For the most part that isn’t much of a problem. However, there are some people out there who make all of the drinking a very big problem.

A few bad people is all it takes to completely ruin something, and that is exactly what people do when they drink and then drive. This is extremely dangerous and is a choice that not only affects the person driving, but everyone they pass on the road. All it takes is one slip up, and they can collide with another driver, a building, or a pedestrian. Then things get really bad.

 DUI Checkpoints

Since Saint Patrick’s Day is a known drinking holiday, police officers will be out in force. They will make it their mission to ensure that everyone remains safe while they are having a good time. One of the ways that they do this is by setting up DUI checkpoints around heavily traveled areas. This way they can catch as many drunk drivers as possible before the person causes a devastating accident.

DUI checkpoints may look scary, but they are nothing to worry about so long as the driver of the vehicle hasn’t been drinking. In all likeliness, the checkpoint will be visible from a ways away thanks to the traffic congestion it will cause. The traffic is caused by police officers stopping and talking to every single driver that passes through the checkpoint.

The officers ask each driver a few simple questions, such as:

  • Where are you going?
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Have you been drinking?

They will also ask to see the driver’s license and registration. If everything checks out, then the driver will be free to go on with their evening. However, if the officer suspects that the driver might be drunk, they will ask him or her to pull over to the side.

Once there, another officer will conduct a field sobriety test to determine if the driver is, in fact, drunk. if the driver fails the test, he or she will likely be held until they sober up, or until they can get someone sober to come pick them up. 

Find Another Ride Home

When it comes to drinking and partying, the best way to get home is to find a ride. Pretty much everyone has at least one friend or family member that would rather get a call in the middle of the night from a drunk friend to come pick them up, rather than get a call from a police officer at the scene of an accident. Just call that person when the night is coming to an end, or establish a designated driver ahead of time.

If a person doesn’t want to bother their friends or family members, then they can always use the handy little device in their pocket. Smart phones have made it incredibly easy to find a ride no matter where a person is or what time it may be. A person can easily use their phone to hire a taxi, Lyft, or Uber to come pick them up.

Using either of these methods allows a person to party and relax. They do not have to worry about how they are going to get home, or if they might end up in an accident because they have a sober person driving them home. That makes things easier and safer for everyone.