With So Many Alcohol Related Crashes, Why Do People Still Drive Drunk?

alcohol related crashIf you look at news across the United States, you’ll see an almost daily stream of articles detailing one alcohol related crash or another. People slam into police cruisers, run red lights, or crash into the person in front of them on a routine basis, and you’d think these crashes would make people stop and think before they too get behind the wheel drunk, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Why, in a world where there is enough data to prove that drunk driving can kill, do people still drink and drive? Here are a few reasons.

They can’t gauge how drunk they really are

Alcohol affects everyone in a different way, so 2 drinks for one person can feel like 4 for someone else. That means it’s hard to distinguish how drunk you are without a personal breathalyzer reading, and most people don’t stop to take a reading before they get behind the wheel. When you rely on your own personal judgement after you’ve been drinking, you can get into a lot of trouble.

They feel confident in their driving abilities

Has someone ever told you they drive better when they’re drunk? It’s a common thought after someone has had a few drinks, all because inhibitions and the ability to rationalize go out the window. No one drives better when they are drunk.

You need a ride, but you’re embarrassed to ask for one

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) did a study on why people drive drunk, and they found people will let their friends drive drunk because there is no designated driver available. They also found that the passengers of the drunk driver were less concerned about being injured in an alcohol-related crash than being arrested for drunk driving.

Other people will drink and drive because they don’t want their friends or family to find out they’re drunk or be inconvenienced by picking them up in the middle of the night. Thankfully, these days you don’t have to call a friend or family member. Just choose a taxi service or ride share like Uber and you can get home safely.

Everyone has a different reason for choosing to drink and drive, but if you do the outcome will be the same no matter who you are. You’ll either get stopped and arrested for drunk driving, or you’ll be the reason there’s another alcohol related crash on the news. Make the sensible choice and say no to drinking and driving.

Flock Of Sheep Victims Of Drunk Driving Crash

sheep-killed-drunk-driving-crashUsually the victims of drunk driving crashes are people, and more often than not those people are in another vehicle that’s crashed into by a drunk driver. But every so often you hear about a drunk driving crash of another kind: the kind where it’s not humans who are the innocent victims.

That’s the reason a woman in Colorado is in hot water right now. She’s been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after she crashed her vehicle into a flock of sheep on a rural Colorado road. She managed to kill 42 sheep before she fled the scene, but because she left her license plate at the site of the crash, police found her shortly after and charged her with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident where property damage occurred, and not providing proof of insurance.

A flock of sheep may have been her innocent victims, but the woman who hit the flock and ran is facing some stiff charges. Because Colorado is one of the many states cracking down on first time offenders, she can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if she has a .08 or higher blood alcohol concentration or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) if she has a BAC of .05 to but less than .08. Either conviction could result in jail time for a first offender: a DUI will net an offender up to one year in prison while someone charged with DWAI will spend up to 180 days. With either charge she’ll also pay fines and lose her drivers license.

Colorado doesn’t have an ignition interlock law for first time offenders, so if she’s never received a DUI charge before, odds are she’ll be back behind the wheel of a car within the year. At that point, what’s stopping her from causing another drunk driving crash? Maybe next time she won’t hit an innocent flock of sheep: next it could be a group of people.

Stopped for DUI? There’s An App For That

dueydialerThere are game apps, apps for social networking, and even apps that double as a breathalyzer of sorts, so it’s no surprise that there’s now an app to stand in as your lawyer in case you’re pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI).

DueyDialer is a new app with a simple concept. When you’re pulled over at a checkpoint or by a police officer for suspected drunk driving, all you have to do is press the ‘trouble’ button and then ‘contact your attorney’ and the app will record your interaction with the police. Once you’re finished recording, the app will connect you to an attorney through text and email.

There are a few reasons why you should use caution with an app like DueyDialer. To start, you may need to notify the police officer he or she is being recorded before you use the app. If the officer records you, he or she notifies you before they do so, so you should extend the same courtesy.

Another consideration you might want to take into account is why you’re preparing to be arrested for DUI in the first place. It’s one thing to download the app quickly after you’re arrested as backup, but if you’ve already got the app downloaded and ready on your phone just in case you’re stopped for DUI? That’s something that might make you want to rethink your life choices.

Drinking and driving is a choice, and being stopped for drinking and driving isn’t just your bad luck: it happens because law enforcement and lawmaker’s are dedicated to stopping drunk drivers before they crash and kill someone.

Consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel is extremely dangerous, so if you don’t want to be arrested for DUI, you shouldn’t drive after drinking any amount of alcohol.

Life After DUII In Oregon

life-after-duii-oregonOregon is a great place to live, but receiving a driving while under the influence of intoxicant (DUII) conviction has the potential to change your life, and it definitely wouldn’t be for the better.

Let’s start with what will happen if the police stop you and you turn down a breathalyzer. In Oregon, that’s a big mistake, because the state has an implied consent law. Implied consent means that if the police suspect you of drinking and driving and you turn down a breathalyzer, you will immediately lose your driver’s license for 1 year. If you choose to decline a breathalyzer test more than once, you can lose your driver’s license for up to 3 years.

Life after a first DUII offense in Oregon

Rolling green hills, bustling cities, and the ocean just hours away—if you decide to drink and drive and you’re charged with a DUII in Oregon for the first time, you can say goodbye to the scenery for awhile because you may be going to jail. First offenders in Oregon will spend anywhere from 48 hours up to one year in jail. If you don’t receive jail time, you’ll be putting in up to 80 hours of community service.

But the ordeal isn’t over just because you completed your jail time. That DUII will also empty your bank account, because a fine for a first offender in Oregon will run you approximately $1,000. In addition to those fines, you’ll have to pay for an ignition interlock device after your 90-day driver’s license suspension, and you’ll have that monthly cost to cover for an entire year.

And last but not least, to make sure you don’t make the choice to drink and drive again, you’ll be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel called ‘Trauma Nurses Talk Tough.’

There is good news though—you may qualify for Oregon’s DUII diversion program. If you do, you won’t have your first DUII register on your permanent record. If you qualify, you’ll have to pay extra fines, install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and commit to not drinking alcohol for the entire year of your program.

Once you see what life is like after a DUII in Oregon, you’ll agree that it’s not even tempting to put the keys in the ignition after drinking.

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