Just Say No To Mixing Nyquil, Alcohol, And Driving

alcohol and driving and nyquil don't mixFlorida is a place where people get into a lot of trouble thanks to drunk driving, and because of that, Florida police really have seen it all. From the periscoped her drunk drive to the numerous people arrested for DUI on a golf cart, it’s a place where some drivers don’t seem to understand that alcohol and driving don’t mix.

There are also drivers who don’t seem to be concerned when they mix alcohol and driving and they take their children along for the ride. One driver, a woman from Greenacres, is now facing charges for DUI and child neglect after she decided to bring her kids with her when she after drinking alcohol and Nyquil.

The driver was heading down a road with a passenger who was hanging out the window yelling at pedestrians. When police pulled her over they found two toddlers who weren’t buckled into their car seats in the back of the vehicle, and the driver had several small bottles of wine with her.

She also had a bottle of Nyquil, a common cold medication, and half the bottle was gone. That bottle actually contains 10% alcohol, and although most people realize that mixing alcohol and driving will get you arrested, mixing alcohol and Nyquil can render you even more incapacitated. Driving after drinking the two is not a great idea.

Although it wasn’t clear if she was a repeat offender in Florida, it’s clear that she’s got a long list of penalties ahead of her. Just for the drunk driving charge she’ll receive fines, a driver’s license suspension, and may be required to install an ignition interlock to prevent her from drinking alcohol and driving.

The biggest mistake this driver made was drinking what she did and then putting the keys in the ignition, especially with her kids in the back seat of the car. This case is another Florida example of the many different types of dangerous drivers on the roads and what can happen when you mix alcohol and driving.

Another One Of Those Crazy Drunk Driving Stories From Florida

crazy drunk driving stories florida

Image from Citrus River Sheriff Office Facebook page

Florida: home to 12 months of sunshine, balmy weather, and some really crazy drunk driving stories. Take one drunk driver who was arrested outside one of the biggest tourist events in Crystal River, Florida as an example. You won’t be surprised when you hear how his story ended.

Paul Wilkins was driving drunk just outside Citrus River’s yearly Pirate Fest. Because it’s a large event police were on the scene, and he drove his vehicle straight into a traffic control point. That’s when things got a little strange, because he drove through a bunch of traffic cones, struck a detective’s vehicle, pushed it thirty feet, and crashed it straight into the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) brand new patrol car.

The irony of the situation? The patrol car he crashed into has “Don’t drink and drive” and “A Cop or a Cab, you decide” emblazoned on its side. The car was clearly displayed amid flashing lights and other patrol cars as part of a set up by police that night, and the CCSO thought it was a teachable moment, and because crazy drunk driving stories should be shared, they posted the story on their Facebook page.

Thankfully this is one crazy drunk driving story that had a funny ending; most of them do not. What Florida really needs to stop these drunk drivers is an all offender ignition interlock law, but that may not be happening anytime soon. Two bills presented to require all drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock have died in the judiciary committee, and only time will tell if they are brought back in some shape or form.

Until Florida has the means to crack down on their drunk driving population, they’re going to have trouble with drunk drivers like these. In this case only an anti-drunk driving patrol car was damaged, but it could have ended badly for everyone there that night.

Stopped For DUI: Not Drinking, But Still a DUI For Tiger Woods

stopped for dui tiger woodsEveryone knows how dangerous drinking and driving is, and yet people still do it every day. Celebrities are no exception, even though when they are stopped for DUI they know it will turn into a circus really quickly.

Tiger Woods is the latest celebrity stopped for DUI in Florida, and if the general public models their own behavior after avidly watching the actions of famous people, he’s a good example for everyone that you can be arrested for DUI without taking a sip of alcohol.

Woods was found asleep in his vehicle on the side of a highway in Jupiter, Florida. The dashcam video of the arrest shows that when police approached, he was extremely confused about where he was and his speech was slurred. Police asked him to perform field sobriety tests and he attempted to comply, but he struggled. He also stated he was coming from LA and heading to Orange County, but he was in Florida.

He was cooperative when asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, and when he blew his result was negative for alcohol. If he wasn’t drinking, why was he arrested for suspicion of drunk driving? There’s a few reasons.

You can be stopped for DUI if you’re under the influence of drugs

DUI isn’t just for alcohol; you can be arrested for DUI if you’re under the influence of recreational and prescription drugs. In Wood’s case, having drugs in his system rendered him too impaired to drive.

You can be arrested if you’re in physical control of the car

The vehicle doesn’t have to be actually moving for someone who is impaired to be arrested for DUI. If, like Tiger Woods, the keys are in the ignition and you’re behind the wheel, you can be arrested for DUI because you had physical control of the vehicle while impaired.

Just like any celebrity stopped for DUI, it’s going to take a while for the firestorm over Woods’ impaired charge to die down. Whether he’s officially convicted and is required to pay the fines and penalties of a Florida drunk driver is still up in the air, but it’s safe to say he’s one person who’s learned how easy it is to be arrested for driving under the influence.

Alcohol Poisoning Really Can Happen To Anyone

Alcohol PoisoningYou might have heard of alcohol poisoning, and you may even know someone who suffered from it and was taken to the hospital to have his or her stomach pumped out, but what you may not know is how easy it is to get that that point, and why so many people still make the decision to drink and drive when they’re that drunk.

The legal blood alcohol limit for driving is .08. It’s that limit for all states except for Utah; a state that just passed a law requiring their legal blood limit to be .05. When you’re at the .08 level you lose coordination, your vision suffers, and your reaction time is slowed for basic tasks, but what if you’re at double, triple, or quadruple that level? When your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) hits .40 or higher, you’re in danger of dying from alcohol poisoning.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning vary, but most people will experience slow heart rate, vomiting, seizures, low body temperature, and a decreased gag reflex that could result in that person choking on their own vomit. They are also in danger of passing out and becoming unresponsive, and that’s when they are in real danger of death.

One man in Naples, Florida is a great example of how people can get this drunk and still drive. Although he didn’t crash before he was stopped, he was pulled over by police who suspected him of drunk driving. When he was given a breathalyzer test the police found that he registered .40.

Why would someone drive when they are so drunk they’re close to dying? It all comes down to how quickly you can drink yourself to death. In the case of the Naples man, he could have got into the car after binge drinking a toxic amount of alcohol. If you drink a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time, it can result in your blood alcohol levels spiking. In other words, you can go from not really feeling the alcohol to becoming extremely intoxicated in what can seem like minutes.

He was probably already over the legal limit of .08 when he got behind the wheel of the vehicle, but if he was binge drinking before he drove the alcohol would have caught up with him while driving. That’s why so many people are shocked when they think they’re fine to drive, are arrested for drunk driving, and then the breathalyzer shows they’re over the legal limit.

Your best option when drinking alcohol? Drink in moderation so you can avoid the possibility of alcohol poisoning, and always keep in mind that there’s no safe amount of alcohol you can drink before you drive.

Florida Drunk Driving Alive And Well In Hillsborough County

Florida drunk driving ignition interlock Out of all the counties in the entire state of Florida, one large but unassuming area is taking the top spot as the leader of Florida drunk driving cases. No, it’s not the Miami area with a bustling population of over two and a half million people: it’s Tampa Bay’s Hillsborough County, and although it has a smaller population of just over one million people, it’s leading the way for driving under the influence (DUI) crashes in Florida.

It’s not a distinction that anyone wants for their county, but there’s no denying that Hillsborough County is the center of a serious Florida drunk driving problem. According to statistics published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were over fourteen hundred DUI crashes in Hillsborough, and when you do the math that adds up to four DUI crashes per day. Those crashes aren’t just minor fender benders either: sixty-seven people were killed in Hillsborough County last year, and it’s all because too many people are still making the choice to drink and drive.

There are other statistics coming out of Hillsborough County that are just as disturbing. Data released from the local Central Breath Testing Unit showed that almost twelve hundred drivers were arrested for DUI, and of those people who submitted to a breath test, all of them were almost double the legal limit. That’s incredible, and it’s difficult to believe that there are even more Florida drunk drivers on the roads in Hillsborough who refused to submit to a breath test.

All of this data puts a glaring spotlight on the need for Florida drunk driving laws to change, and one of the most important changes is passing an all-offender ignition interlock law in the state. There’s a bill that’s currently making it’s way through the Florida legislature, and if it eventually gets to the Governor’s desk for a signature, every offender in Florida will be required to install an interlock upon DUI conviction.

Ignition interlocks make sense for Florida, especially in areas like Hillsborough County. Let’s hope this is a bill that passes soon.

Worst Ever? Florida Drunk Driver Strikes Children Getting Off Bus

school busEvery single day in every city and town in the USA, parents trust that their kids will get home safely from school. Sometimes these kids walk home, others are picked up by car pool, but the overwhelming majority take a school bus home. More often than not that school bus driver will deliver them to their stop and they’ll walk home with no issues, but thanks to the recent actions of a Florida drunk driver, a few Polk County children didn’t make it home from school.

Just as five middle-school aged children were getting off of their school bus in Poinciana, a Florida drunk driver crashed right into them. Once he hit the children he drove away, and that’s when he hit a stopped car driven by a pregnant woman. Thankfully she wasn’t seriously injured, but the children he left behind were. Because of that Florida drunk driver one thirteen-year-old boy is dead and another suffered serious injuries and is currently in the hospital. The other children that were hit were treated and released.

Incredibly the driver, John Luster Camfield, is former law enforcement. Police said when he was finally stopped and arrested he said, ‘Give me some respect, I’m a law enforcement officer.’ But law enforcement who follow Florida drunk driving laws don’t normally drink and drive, and this former officer had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .147 when it was taken seven hours after the crash. That’s almost double the legal limit of .08, and with seven hours between crash and arrest, his body had a long time to metabolize the alcohol, and that means it was much higher when he crashed.

This crash reinforces the need for all Florida drunk drivers to drive with an ignition interlock upon conviction. There’s a bill that’s currently making its way through Florida Legislature, and if passed it will require all-offenders in Florida to drive with an interlock.

If a driver is prevented from driving drunk by an interlock after his or her first arrest, that prevention would make them less likely to choose to drink and drive again. Florida needs that prevention to stop tragedies like this from happening, and doesn’t every kid have the right to know they are safe to walk off the school bus?

MADD Ready To Support All Offender Ignition Interlock Law In Florida

all offender ignition interlock law in FloridaIt’s been a long time in coming and it hasn’t passed all of its hurdles yet, but a lot of people are pulling for an all offender ignition interlock law in Florida. One organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is taking its support for ignition interlocks straight to the Florida Capitol.

As it’s done in the past for Pennsylvania, Texas, and Ohio, MADD has spent time testifying on behalf of an all offender ignition interlock law in Florida. They’d like to see Florida become one of the many states that have taken the steps to pass an ignition interlock law, and by all accounts this is a state that really needs that support.

Take Palm Beach: police are grappling with multiple repeat offenders in the court system right now, and two of the repeat offenders who are currently sitting in jail were arrested for their seventh and, incredibly, seventeenth drunk driving charges. According to the Palm Beach Post there are also more than fifty convicted defendants who had at least three drunk driving convictions but were arrested again.

That could be, because right now, Florida only requires an ignition interlock for a period of six months for any first offender with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15 or higher. Drivers are also required to install an interlock if they drive drunk with a minor in the vehicle or if they have multiple DUI arrests. These relatively easygoing drunk driving laws could result in offenders making the choice to drink and drive over and over again.

Stopping first time offenders from becoming repeat offenders is one of the reasons why MADD supports an all offender ignition interlock law in Florida. Hopefully we’ll soon see a bill in front of the Governor for signature.

Victims Of A Drunk Driver, South Florida Family Begins Teen Campaign

victims of a drunk driverDrunk driving can take a otherwise amazing life full of potential and end it in the blink of an eye. That’s why it’s so difficult for families who have lost someone and have become victims of a drunk driver: because drunk driving is a choice, those families know that their loved one would be alive right now if someone didn’t make the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel drunk.

Florida has more than its fair share of these drunk driving crashes, and after one South Florida family lost their husband and father, they are stepping out and attempting to stop drunk drivers with a new campaign. Walter Reyes was riding his road cycle with a friend when he was struck by a 21-year-old drunk driver in Key Biscayne. The drunk driver struck both cyclists, and the impact shattered his windshield.

Reyes died from the injuries sustained in the crash, and although the drunk driver left the scene, he returned shortly after and was arrested. He pleaded guilty to the crash and was sentenced to two years in jail, two years house arrest, and ten years probation.

The family of Reyes doesn’t want anyone else to suffer through the same loss, so they launched a campaign over spring break that they called “Be True to You” or “BTRU2U.” It asks people, especially teens, to say no to drunk driving, and they want to parents to know that kids will listen to them if they drive home the message, “Do not get in the car with someone who has been drinking.”

The campaign was launched in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and they both feel it’s an urgent program for Florida teens. According to MADD, one in three teens have got into a vehicle with someone they know has been drinking or they know is drunk, and with those statistics it’s only a matter of time before someone you know or love becomes victims of a drunk driver.

It’s a timely campaign on the two year anniversary of the Reye’s family loss, and if all of the effort makes even one teen re-think that decision to drive drunk or go along with a crowd that is, another life can be be saved.

What Does A Fork lift And A Florida Drunk Driver Have In Common?

Florida drunk driverA forklift is a great machine when you want to lift heavy objects, and it’s a go-to device for many people who work in big box retail businesses or out in a construction yard, But as a getaway vehicle for a Florida drunk driver, it’s not such a great option.

At least that’s what a Florida drunk driver found out when he lost his keys recently. He said he was helping his friend move in the Florida Keys when he misplaced his car keys. Instead of calling a cab, he decided that stealing a forklift from a lot nearby would be a great option for getting home because he knew how to drive one.

He also knew how to fix a gate, and he probably thought that was a good thing too because he managed to smash into it when he was trying to leave with the forklift. Police were called and they found that this Florida drunk driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that was twice the legal limit of .08. Now he’s facing a laundry list of charges including driving under the influence (DUI), and because he’s been charged in Florida, he’s also facing a laundry list of penalties including possible jail time, driver’s license suspension, and stiff fines.

Because his BAC was over 0.15, he’ll be required to sign up for the Florida ignition interlock program. It’s currently mandatory for a first-time offender with a BAC higher than 0.15 to use an ignition interlock, and if a new bill passes the House, the devices will also become a requirement for any first offender with a BAC over .08.

Florida drunk drivers have been caught behind the wheel of many different types of vehicles, but a fork lift may just be one of the poorest choices someone from Florida has made yet. Let’s hope this is the first and last time someone tries to raid a construction yard for a way home.

Florida All Offender Ignition Interlock Law Passes Its First Hurdle

Florida ignition interlock lawFlorida, a state with a well known reputation for having intoxicated drivers on the roads, is finally making ground in the fight against drunk driving. The state is getting on board with the one law with the potential to shut these drivers down at the steering wheel: an all offender ignition interlock law.

Like many other states, Florida’s proposed new law could result in severe penalties for first time offenders. The bill, HB 949, states that an ignition interlock device will be required on an offender’s vehicle after a first drunk driving conviction, and that’ s a sharp departure from the current Florida ignition interlock law. Current ignition interlock law only requires that a first offender with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .15 or someone driving with a minor in the vehicle be required to install the device.

Although there’s been opposition to such a law in the past, Florida’s potential new ignition interlock law has already passed its first hurdle by clearing the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Now it has to go through two more committees before it hits the House floor.

Why is it so important that Florida finally get on board with an all offender ignition interlock law? A law like this begins and ends with saving lives, and the number of people arrested in Florida for drunk driving and drunk driving crashes continues to grow. Florida is also a big tourist state, so the number of people who go there to vacation and have a good time is also growing, and alcohol and drunk driving can go hand in hand with patio and beach time.

With two more subcommittees to go, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not Florida’s potential all offender ignition interlock law will make it to the House, but if you ask organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the families of drunk driving victims, they’ll tell you that this is a law that’s long overdue.

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