The sobering details of driving drunk or drugged


More than 1,000,000 Americans have been killed in vehicle crashes caused by drunk or drugged drivers over the past half a century.

According to the CDC, since 1966, more Americans were killed by drunk drivers than the total number of American soldiers killed in ALL American Wars except the Civil War.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk   friends_dont_friends

Drunk and drugged drivers often don’t remember the details of a crash because at BAC levels over the legal limit of 0.018 memory is impaired. Once they become sober again and are informed of the results of their actions, they can feel remorseful, especially if they kill someone or they themselves end up injured.  Convicted DUI offenders have to deal with jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, and they will need to attend a DUI course such as the ones offered by ABC Drive Safe, which could take up 8 to 72 hours of their time.  It is estimated that a first-time DUI conviction costs over $6,000 – add $40,000 if the crash results in a death

So, how do you intervene to prevent an unnecessary tragedy or your friend from getting a DUI?  Above anything else, don’t let your friends or family members drive while under the influence.  If counseling a friend, try and use a soft, calm approach at first. Suggest to them that they’ve had too much to drink and it would be better if someone else drove or if they took a taxi or ride-share.

When talking to a friend about drunk or drugged driving, be calm. You can even joke about it to make it sound like you are doing them a favor.

If you are talking to a good friend, spouse, or significant other, tell them that if they insist on driving, you are not going with them. Suggest that you will call someone for a ride, even if it is a taxi.

If it is somebody you don’t know well, speak to their friends and have them make an attempt to persuade the impaired person to hand over the keys so they do not get a DUI. Locate their keys while they are preoccupied and take them away. Most likely, they will think they’ve lost them and will be forced to find another mode of transportation. If possible, avoid embarrassing the person or being confrontational, particularly when dealing with men. This makes them appear vulnerable to alcohol and its effects and in some cases they may become combative. If all else fails and the impaired driver won’t listen, call the police to prevent a possible tragedy.

Not letting your friends and loved ones drive drunk or drugged is one of the best life decisions to make, avoiding the stress of dealing with the DUI process.

Cues Used by Law Enforcement in Recognizing a Potentially Drunk Driver

  • Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position
  • Swerving
  • Drifting across lanes
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Almost striking a vehicle or other object

Speed and Braking Problems

  • Stopping problems (too far, too short, or too jerky)
  • Accelerating or decelerating for no obvious or apparent reason.
  • Inconsistent speed
  • Slow speed -10 mph or more under the posted speed limit.
  • Crashing into another vehicle, tree, rock, house and most anything else.

Vigilance Problems

  • Driving in opposing lanes or the wrong way on one-way street
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
  • Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

driving drunk can cost upwards of $10,000 dollars

Judgment Problems

  • Following too closely
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Driving on other than the designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to officer
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior (littering, arguing, etc.)

Post Stop Cues

  • Difficulty with motor vehicle controls
  • Difficulty exiting the vehicle
  • Fumbling with driver’s license or registration
  • Repeating questions or comments
  • Swaying, lack of coordination, unsteady or  balance problems
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

Post Stop Cues Continued

  • Leaning on the vehicle or other object
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow to respond to officer or if an officer must repeat the instructions
  • Providing incorrect information or changes answers
  • Odor of alcoholic beverage from the driver
  • Driving without headlights at night

If a driver exhibits any of these signs to a law enforcement officer, they will be scrutinized much more closely.  A trained and experienced  law enforcement officer will be able to quickly assess if a driver is intoxicated and driving under the influence. It’s not one sign that leads an officer to determine if a driver is impaired, but typically there will be several indications of impairment. But, even one sign is enough of a cause to be evaluated for intoxication.

The second the officer realizes someone is impaired from drugs or alcohol is the second a drunk or drugged driver starts the process of incarceration and hefty fines. Our Level 1 DUI courses meet the DMV and court requirements for drug and alcohol education – contact us and let us help you!

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