You’ve heard the statistics. You know that every state has strict laws against drunk driving. What you might not know is that there’s no way to really defend against a DUI charge if an officer uses a breathalyzer. It’s true.
Not only that, in many states, the officer can strip you of your license right there on the road – called “administrative suspension” – no judge needed. Of course, you’ll have to appear in front of a judge to be sentenced. Here’s how to protect yourself before things get out of hand.
Facts About Drunk Driving
Drunk driving lawyer advises clients that the best way to avoid getting caught driving drunk is to not drink before you drive. It sounds too obvious, right? Well, consider this:
- A person is killed every half-hour due to drunk driving.
- Every year, about 16,000 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes.
- Alcohol is a factor in almost half of all traffic fatalities.
- Every 2 minutes, a person is seriously injured because of an alcohol-related crash.
Once the booze is in your system, it takes time for it to leave. That’s what makes going out to party so dangerous. You want to drink and have a good time, but that “good time” comes at a price. Don’t let it be your, or someone else’s life.
What To Do If You See Someone Driving Drunk On The Road
Maybe you’re not the one out there on the road driving drunk. Maybe someone in front of you, or behind you is. A few obvious signs of drunk driving include swerving on the road, erratic speed (i.e. slowing down and speeding up without any rational reason), and driving without headlights on at night. Of course, taken alone, none of the behaviors is conclusive.
However, if you see a cluster of behaviors that, when taken together, doesn’t seem right, suspect that the driver might be intoxicated. Call the local highway patrol or police department. Get the license plate number of the vehicle. Let the authorities know that you suspect a drunk driver, and tell the officer your location.
How Alcohol Affects Senses
Most people know that alcohol negatively affects their senses. But you might not know that alcohol affects your depth perception. More recent studies have consistently shown that drinking alcohol diminishes your ability to sense distance. This is extremely important because depth perception is vital when driving.
Stop Drunk Driving Before You Start
The statistics are not in your favor. If you think that you can get away with drinking and driving, think again. The majority of DUIs are the result of police officers pulling over drivers that are weaving inside their lane or show mildly erratic driving patterns – not something you can really control when you’re drunk. Most DUIs are not discovered because a driver was speeding.
Before you start drinking, hand the keys to a designated driver, call a trusted friend of relative to ensure you get home safely, or have some other plan to get home. Don’t wait until you’re out at the bar to make plans – it’s too late. Make plans before you even leave the house.