Driving With A BAC Of .322? This Woman Needs A Car Breathalyzer

driving-with-322-bacFor some people, it can take quite a few drinks to get to the .08 level. Everyone has a different tolerance to alcohol, and while one person can still have a low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) after 3 drinks, another could hit .08 after one. Even though alcohol affects everyone differently, it’s safe to say it would take a lot of drinks to achieve a .322 blood alcohol level.

But that’s exactly what one woman in Washington state had when she was stopped for drinking and driving, and when the troopers came to her assistance after she crashed into a guardrail, she was so intoxicated she actually thought she was still driving. She was arrested for DUI and penalties are pending. Unfortunately she made the decision to drink and drive, but fortunately for her she stopped drinking when she did because a blood alcohol level of .4 is considered lethal.

Cases like these are great reminders to always call in someone you suspect has been drinking and driving.

It’s all too easy to cruise past someone on the highway and wonder if the reason they’re driving so erratically is because they’ve been drinking, but if you don’t call them in they could potentially injure themselves or others.

This case also highlights why car breathalyzers work. The odds are that someone who is driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .322 has been drunk and has driven before. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has published research showing that the average drunk driver will drive approximately 80 times before they’re stopped and arrested the first time, so each time these drivers get behind the wheel, they’re taking a chance with their lives and the lives of other people.

Car breathalyzers stop potential drunk drivers before they’re even able to start the vehicle, so driving when you have an almost lethal amount of alcohol in your system wouldn’t even be an option. Thankfully this case didn’t end in a fatality, but thousands of cases like this do every single day. For more information on how you can help stop drunk drivers, visit your local MADD chapter.

Arrested For Marijuana Use? Time For An Interlock Device

interlock deviceMarijuana was legalized in Washington State in 2012, but although allowing for recreational use has resulted in a drop in arrests for possession, it’s also brought about an increase in people who are driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana.

That’s why the Washington Transportation Safety Commission is making it a goal to remind everyone that driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime just like driving under the influence of alcohol, and you could be subject to the same penalties including an interlock device installation.

If statistics in Spokane are any indication, DUI arrests for marijuana impairment are on the upswing in the state. Officers recorded 37 DUI arrests for marijuana so far this year, and that number is up from 17 DUI arrests for marijuana in 2012. One of the reasons for the increase may be that people don’t understand how there is no distinction in Washington between drinking and driving and inhaling marijuana and driving. The definition of driving under the influence includes alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, and the penalty for driving high in Washington is a minimum of one day in jail, one-year probation, and an ignition interlock device installation in any vehicle you drive.

To combat the problem and easily recognize a driver who is under the influence of marijuana, Washington officers go through a two-week drug recognition training program that makes them Drug Recognition Experts. In the class they cover 7 drug categories and learn how to recognize the signs exhibited by someone driving under the influence of drugs. Once an officer has stopped someone they suspect of DUI, they’ll perform a field sobriety test and may request a blood or urine test to confirm.

Marijuana might be legal in Washington, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal to get behind the wheel after inhaling the drug. If want to stay safe and avoid the interlock device in your vehicle, keep the roads safe by not driving after drinking or inhaling marijuana.

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