While there is nothing funny about drunk driving, as it is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year and many more cases of serious personal injury, some of the interactions police have with alleged drunk drivers inevitably illicit a chuckle.
According to a recent news article from Cleveland.com, police pulled over a driver for weaving across marked lanes. When the officer approached the car, he said he smelled an odor of marijuana and saw vomit on the ground. The driver who allegedly smelled heavily of alcohol and was slurring his speech, first denied drinking, but then admitted to consuming several mixed drinks and beers. He is reported to have told officers he was coming from a party and looking for his girlfriend.
When the officer asked the alleged drunk driver for his license, the driver first handed the officer a card. When the officer looked at the card and asked the suspect why he handed him a McDonald’s gift card, the suspect responded “Oops, I’ll take that,” and grabbed the card back from the officer.
The officer then asked suspect to perform a series of standardized field sobriety tests, all of which he is said to have failed. The officer arrested him for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, and took him to the station for processing. The officer also noted in his police report this defendant had one prior DUI conviction on his record.
As our Boston drunk driving accident attorneys know, people often fail to appreciate the real dangers of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Many people drive drunk all the time. While it is always a possible a particular person will make sure to never drive drunk, and then get arrested the first time they decide to get to behind the wheel after drinking too much, most drunk drivers who get arrested are estimated to have engaged in this behavior on multiple occasions and have gotten away with it.
Anti drunk driving campaigns use catchy slogans like “drive hammered, get nailed,” or “sober or slammer.” Whether these commercials work or not is another issue, but, as you can see, police and various non profit organizations are targeting these ads to people’s fear that drunk driving even one time will lead to an arrest.
Very few anti drunk driving commercials deal with the possibility of drunk driving causing a serious accident with substantial personal injury. There are some exceptions to this, such as the “buzzed driving is drunk driving” campaign.
In reality, drunk driving accounts for many cases of serious personal injury and death, and these drunk drivers are not only risking getting arrested and facing criminal convictions and steep fines, they are also risking other people’s lives and safety.
Many of these accidents involve injury to the drunk drivers themselves and occupants of other cars, but they can also harm friends or family members riding in a car with a drunk driver. It is interesting that many people who would never drive drunk themselves, seem more than willing to get a ride from someone who is way to drunk to drive. This is likely also because most people associate drunk driving with being arrested, and not getting into an accident, so the passengers see themselves as being safe.
If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Drunk driver arrested after giving police McDonald’s gift card, North Royalton Police Blotter, March 15, 2015
More Blog Entries:
Greater Driver Accountability Urged by Grieving Massachusetts Father, September 20, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Blog