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Each year, scientists are working on ways to prevent drunk driving.  It’s a serious problem that has resulted in thousands of lives lost every year.  According to a report from ABC News, a major manufacturer of tortilla chips is making a limited edition bag of chips that can detect how much a person has had to drink and if they are safe to drive home from the party.  This is mainly for people who like to get together to watch live sporting events like the Super Bowl.

chipsThe bag, officially called a party safe bag, contains a sensor and a micro-controller that is said to be capable to detect if a person has been drinking.  The way the technology works is that it is supposed to be able to determine from a person’s breath if that person had been drinking an alcoholic beverage. If the bag detects that that person had been drinking alcohol, the logo on the bag will display a red steering wheel.  If he person is clear to drive, it will display a green circle. Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from the Boston Herald, one woman was killed and another is in critical condition following a serious car crash in Methuen, Massachusetts, which is just outside of Boston.

drivingAuthorities have said the deadly crash occurred on a Saturday night going into Sunday morning, and there were multiple people in the vehicle.  The crash occurred when the car allegedly swerved off the road at a high rate of speed and crashed head-on into a utility pole.  The backseat passenger, who was 27-years-old at the time of the crash, was killed. Continue reading

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According to a news report from the Boston Metro, a local company has developed a smart phone app that can tell users if they are intoxicated based upon how they are walking while using the app. The makers of the app say that it is designed to alert users when they are too drunk to get behind the wheel of a car, so as to prevent a drunk driving accident or to prevent them from getting arrested for drunk driving.

car keyThe developer of the app has said that when people drink alcohol to the point when they become intoxicated, one of the first things that happens is a lessening of inhibitions.  This is a scientific fact that has been known for a very long time.  The reason this translates into a problem in terms of drunk driving is that when a person loses his or her inhibitions, the brain is less likely to tell them that driving drunk is a bad idea. Continue reading

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In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we use the term drunk driving in casual conversation, but the actual criminal charge is called operation under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (OUI).  We use OUI in Massachusetts as opposed to DUI or DWI like other states, because it does not have to be a traditional motor vehicle that the defendant is operating to get charged with an OUI.

marijuanaIn fact, you can get an OUI on a non-powered bicycle, a scooter, a boat, or just about any type of conveyance device, with exception of a wheelchair, since that would be highly discriminatory towards a person who is disabled and cannot walk.  Continue reading

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Days on which football games are played are often problematic on the roads, specifically for drunk driving hazards. In the Boston-area, fans like to go to Foxboro and drink at the stadium. Many prefer bars in the greater Boston area and drink while watching the game.

barAs part of a continuing effort to curb drunk driving in the Commonwealth, state officials have been compiling what they termed a “place of last drink list.”  This means that whenever possible, they want to find out where a person was arrested for drunk driving and put it on the list.  This will not only provide the public with this information, but it will also allow alcoholic beverage control personnel to conduct investigations at these bars and find out if there is a problem. Continue reading

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While people often use the term “Breathalyzer” to describe the test used to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), that is technically a brand name for a breath alcohol testing device that has not been used in many years.  It is basically the way people use the term Band-Aid for any adhesive bandages or say Photoshop to mean any digital editing of a photograph.  As it turns out, the makers of the respective products police their brands to make sure people don’t do that, but, as you can tell, those efforts haven’t worked so well.

beersIn reality, there are various breath alcohol test devices used, and the two most popular in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are the Alcotest 9510, made by a company called Draeger, and an EC/IR II, made by a company called Intoximeter.  These devices are very important in keeping drunk drivers off the road and thereby preventing drunk driving accidents in Boston and towns across Massachusetts and the nation at large. Continue reading

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Vince Young, former NFL quarterback and star on the University of Texas Longhorns football team, has just been sentenced to probation following a drunk driving conviction, according to a report from UPI.  Young is 33-years-old and has only been officially retired for a couple of years, but has not seen playing in quite some time.

footballProsecutors have said that Young was arrested with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.246 grams of ethanol (drinking alcohol) per 100 milliliters of blood.  The legal limit in every state in America is 0.08.  The reason for this is because that was the limit at which research conducted over decades by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that a person cannot safely perform the tasks necessary to drive a motor vehicle. Continue reading

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Drunk driving is a crime.  This means that it is illegal, as opposed to civil moving violations like running a stop sign. Even though many people do not like to think of themselves as “criminals” after being arrested for operating under the influence (OUI) of intoxicating liquor or drugs, your Massachusetts Board of Probation (BOP) record, which is often called a “Bop” in courts in the Commonwealth, will say otherwise.

gavelOne of the reasons people seem to think of drunk driving more as a traffic offense than a criminal offense is because many more people drive drunk on regular basis that there are people that commit violent crimes, for example.  Basically, people tend to justify drunk driving with an everyone is doing it argument. Continue reading

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According to a recent news report from the Times Herald-Record, a man has pleaded guilty to a drunk driving accident that killed his friend 17 years after the accident occurred. He pleaded guilty to drunk driving, second-degree manslaughter, and charges related to violation of the bail statute by not coming back to court when he was out on bail during the pendency of his court case.

prisonProsecutors have said the defendant, who was in his late 20s at the time of the accident, lost control of the 1988 station wagon his was driving and crashed.  His friend, who was a 24-year-old passenger in the car, died as a result of his injuries sustained in the crash. During the court case in 2000, the defendant attempted to plead guilty. Continue reading

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Drinking a bar is perfectly legal, so long as the person is 21 or older. However, it violates the law to drink to the point of intoxication and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Not only is it illegal, it could result in a serious or even fatal drunk driving accident.

beersWhile the police and lawmakers have been trying to curb drunk drivers, state officials are now turning their focus to bars, as more than 50 percent of all drunk driving arrests and accidents, start with a person being served alcohol at a bar, according to a recent news article from 22 WWLP News. Continue reading