While drunk driving crashes occur all the time, some make the news and others do not. In one recent drunk driving accident arrest, the story was picked up by a variety of news organizations, because this particular defendant decided to stick her tongue out at the camera when police were taking her mug shot. While some mugshots are more interesting than others, drunk driving crashes can and do have serious consequences for those in the at-fault driver’s car and innocent pedestrians and other drivers throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Fortunately, while this particular drunk driving crash did result in property damage, there was no personal injury associated with the car accident. Police say they were called to the scene of a car accident in which alleged at-fault driver had run into a wooden fence.
When police arrived on the scene, defendant allegedly told authorities she ran off the road and crashed into the fence because she was talking on her cellphone to obtain driving directions and was writing them down while behind the wheel and crashed her vehicle as result of the distraction.
However, police suspected defendant was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and asked her to perform a series of standardized field sobriety tests. The 55-year-old woman from Shelburne, Massachusetts agreed to perform the field sobriety tests and apparently exhibited enough clues of intoxication to give the officers probable cause to place her under arrest for drunk driving.
While it is important to note defendant has not been convicted of any crime and is innocent unless and until found guilty, our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers can explain, in terms of a civil personal injury lawsuit, there may be little difference between distracted driving and drunk driving.
First let’s talk about the problems of driving drunk. While it is obvious to most people it is dangerous to drive under the influence of alcohol, there are specific scientific reasons for the dangers. Driving is a divided attention activity, which requires a person to make both any number of quick decisions and corresponding physical movements. A person must be able to quickly perceive any impending dangers and respond to those dangers in an appropriate amount of time. When someone is intoxicated, that person will have slower perception ability and a slower thought process in general. He or she will also have a slowed reaction time and impaired physical movements.
People who are drunk generally have to concentrate very hard on a single task. Since driving is a divided attention task, this presents a problem. Distracted driving presents the same problem. If a driver is busy talking on a cellphone, texting, playing with the radio or GPS, or focusing on anything other than the road ahead, it is difficult to focus one’s attention on all of the tasks necessary to safely drive a car.
While everyone who drives takes their eyes of the road from time to time, sometimes a driver’s conduct is far more dangerous than average, and this can result in a serious car crash. Whether distraction was due to alcohol, drugs, or texting on a phone, this conduct is not only dangerous but could be used to prove negligence in a civil car accident lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Woman crashes car into fence, arrested on drunk driving charges, Apr. 7, 2015, My Fox Boston
More Blog Entries:
MADD Working with NFL Teams to Curb Drunk Driving, July 11, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog