Drunk driving is always a serious offense, as it can result in a serious or event fatal drunk driving accident. From time to time we see stories in the news that are somewhat humorous within the confines of a more serious situation. According to a recent news report from the Boston Globe, a man was recently arrested on suspicion of drunk driving while wearing a shirt that said “Drunk Lives Matter.”
Authorities have said the 44-year-old defendant was pulled over this past St. Patrick’s Day for driving in an erratic manner. Once he was pulled over, authorities became concerned he was driving under the influence of alcohol. It should not be a surprise that local and state police across the country will step up drink driving enforcement on days like St. Patrick’s day and other holidays, when people are known to drink to the point of intoxication and then get behind the wheel of car.In this particular case, the arresting officers performed a breath alcohol test, and the results were allegedly around twice the legal limit. While this happened in Pennsylvania, as our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers can explain, the limit for one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is also 0.08 grams of ethanol per hundred milliliters of blood in Massachusetts. The reason for this is because Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was able to successfully lobby Congress to impose a national BAC limit for drivers.
While Congress does not technically have the power to impose such as standard to states based upon an interpretation of the 10th Amendment, they get around this by tying compliance to highway funding. This is under Congress’ much more powerful plenary powers to tax and spend for the general welfare. They also make the argument that reducing highway deaths from drunk driving accidents is rationally related to federal highway spending. Technically, this can also include various other types of funding for transportation projects.
It should be noted that in this case, defendant was merely charged with a crime and presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law by a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt, as this is the standard of proof required in a criminal case.
While this particular case of alleged drunk driving did not result in a serious or fatal traffic accident, it is not hard to see any time a person gets behind the wheel with twice the legal limit, such an accident could easily occur. In many drunk driving accident cases, if the defendant is caught, he or she will likely also be charged with drunk driving. This can be helpful in a subsequent drunk driving accident civil case, as proof of guilt in criminal cases can be used to prove negligence. This may also make it more likely for an insurance company to offer a more reasonable settlement, because they will know there a much lower chance of winning at trial in cases where the alleged at fault driver has also been arrested for drunk driving.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Man in ‘Drunk Lives Matter’ shirt charged with drunken driving, April 5, 2017, Boston Globe
More Blog Entries:
Boston Courts Deal with Issue of Drivers Alleged to Be On Marijuana, Feb. 13, 2017, Boston OUI Injury Lawyer Blog