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Drunk Driving Risks: Advice from a DWI lawyer

Todd Spodek, Esq. - 2/20/2013

Every year, the result of drunk driving sees thousands of people get arrested. According to LeBrooks, a career salary source, DWI attorneys are well-paid and many clients wind up in debt because they had to borrow money from a company like QuickLoan101 to pay for legal defense. The effects depend on the age, body weight and gender. History of alcoholism is a major factor. Those for whom it's an issue should consider joining one of the alcohol rehab centres.

But it's true that for all the people, in a greater or lesser way, alcohol disrupts oneís abilities when it enters into the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body, affecting both the brain and the eyes, though the intensity differs from one person to another.

Alcohol impairs cognitive functions which include planning, vision, perception and decision-making when drunk driving. It affects judgment of speed, as well as distance and ability to evaluate risks on the road. It makes simple tasks more difficult and reduces your ability to do more than one thing at a time, to react to the sudden changes on the road and harms one's concentration behind the wheel. Sometimes, it relaxes the driver to the point of allowing him to fall asleep at the wheel. Additionally, a drunk driver tends to be less prudent and aggressive, thereby increases the risk of getting accident.

As such, governments around the world make it illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Though it is possible for a police officer or a trained professional to detect alcohol five minutes after consuming it, Blood Alcoholic Content (BAC) reaches its maximum concentration between thirty minutes and an hour after consumption. Many people who consume alcohol wait exactly that time, and get behind the wheel when they are least able to drive and most likely to failed a Breathalyser, Etilometro, Intoxylyzer, Intoximeter or another test that is commonly used to check a driverís consumption of alcohol.

The influence of mind-altering drugs in road accidents is another, even more dangereous factor claiming yet more lives on the roads. All jurisdictions strictly forbid one from driving under the influence of drugs and other substances that can alter oneís physical or mental state. Drugs may cause your reactions to slow, reduce your ability to make decisions and process information quickly while at the wheel, and see things that may not actually exist. It is advisable not to take even some legal medication within an hour of operating a vehicle because they may have side-effects that can cause drowsiness, blurred vision or dizziness, nausea, undue aggression, shakiness and inability to concentrate. It is vital to always read your medicine label carefully, and obey directions and warnings on the label.

Even the so-called "soft" drugs such as the cannabis (marijuana or the hemp plant) can often be as devastating on one's ability to drive as cocaine, LSD, Amphetamines and Extasis. The psychoactive chemical in Cannabis or Marijuana is called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has a different effect from alcoholic drinks and is even stronger when combine with alcohol. THC can be detected in the body for up to four weeks. It affects driverís perception on surrounding, time and space and loss of concentration capacity.

The most dangerous combination of all is the mixing of drugs and alcohol. The effect is extremely severe, which is why one would be charged with two crimes in many jurisdictions. If you've used drugs and/or alcohol, you should remember that you are not in position to judge your ability to operate a vehicle and should avoid doing so. You are risking your own life and the life of others, as well as incarceration in jail. As a lawyer, I've seen people's lives ruined due to drunk driving arrests. Is the risk really worth it? Is it not better to call a cab or ask a friend to give you a ride?

Todd Spodek is a New York criminal defense lawyer, focusing on drunk driving and felony matters.

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Drunk Driving Risks: Advice from a DWI lawyer



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