Don’t Worry, I’ll Just Sober Up with Coffee

As I sit here drinking my morning coffee, I’m reminded of one of most common myths about drunk driving: that coffee will sober a person up.

I’ve said it countless times. The only thing that will sober a person up is time. I repeat: Drinking coffee to sober up is a myth, a potentially very dangerous one.

Just because you drink coffee with caffeine, doesn’t mean you’ll have any less alcohol in your system. While a person my feel a little more awake, they will still be drunk whether they drink one cup of coffee or ten cups of coffee.

Okay you drink a cup of coffee (or several) and while you may be more awake, you have the same alcohol in your system. But what about drinking coffee to reduce the effects of intoxication and increase driving ability?

Sorry, that too is a myth.

Coffee is a stimulant which may serve to reduce lethargy and tiredness. This does not mean that the effects of the intoxication are reduced. In fact, the effects of coffee may serve to trick the brain into thinking that the intoxicating effects of alcohol have been reduced.

A 1983 study entitled “Interactions of Alcohol and Caffeine on Human Reaction Time,” found that “Caffeine has a synergistic interaction with alcohol…(It) has the effect of potentiating the detrimental effects already induced by alcohol…Motor skills which involve delicate muscular coordination and accurate timing have been found to be adversely affected by caffeine."

An earlier 2010 study on the effects of caffeine and alcohol found that “[people] whose motor skills, visual reaction times, and judgment are impaired by alcohol may not perceive that they are intoxicated as readily when they’re also ingesting a stimulant. Only the symptoms of drunkenness are reduced – but not the drunkenness. They can’t tell if they’re drunk; they can’t tell if someone else is drunk.”

If increasing the likelihood for a DUI weren’t enough, coffee can actually make the dreaded hangover even worse. Alcohol causes dehydration which is partly why people are hungover after a night of drinking. Caffeine is a diuretic which also causes dehydration, thus making the hangover even more miserable.

Forgo the coffee. It won’t help. And remember that the only thing that will sober a person up is time.

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Super Bowl and Drunk Driving

America’s unofficial holiday kicks off (pun intended) this Sunday with the New England Patriots facing off against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Although it is unofficial, the Super Bowl often entails as much drinking as St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, and New Year’s. Therefore, it goes without saying that Super Bowl Sunday is just as prone to instances drunk driving than those other holidays.

And like many of my previous posts before alcohol-involved holidays, law enforcement will be on the lookout for would-be drunk drivers.

“The California Office of Traffic Safety and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are teaming up with law enforcement across the state for a special Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign to urge all football fans to call the right play on Super Bowl weekend and pass the keys to a sober driver before the drinking begins,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Super Bowl fans can expect DUI checkpoints and saturation Patrols throughout Southern California for those who don’t heed the Sheriff’s Department’s advice.

A little planning and you can avoid a California DUI or worse.

Plan on using public transportation. This includes calling a cab, Uber, Lyft and, yes, even catching the bus.

Find a designated driver to hitch a ride with. Make sure that the designated driver actually remains sober. A designated driver who drinks even a little bit should no longer be a designated driver.

Remember it only takes a little alcohol to get a DUI even if the driver is under a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content or they don’t feel intoxicated. So if you’re not sure, don’t risk it.

So whether you put your money on the Falcons of the Patriots, don’t make the gamble by driving drunk. If you lose the bet, it could be your life that you give up.

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Ninth time is not a charm, it is a felony DUI

“Third time’s a charm” is a saying that many people live by. The third time around, we learn from most situation, good or bad. This is not the case for a man from the LA area. This man, Derek Stacy Haskayne, who is from the Placentia area, has been arrested eight times for drunk driving in the past six years! Now it is time to add another arrest. Last weekend, he was arrested once more when he crashed his car while under the influence.
Witnesses and police records state that Haskayne was trying to escape the scene post-crash. Luckily enough, he did not cause greater damage seeing as he crashed into an electrical pole. Police found the car on top of a Southern California electrical box.
Police later discovered that Haskayne had numerous DUIs dating back to 2011. This latest arrest will be counted as a felony DUI. He is also being charged for driving with a suspended license, driving without a breathalyzer installed in the car, and violating his DUI probation. The Placentia resident will be held without bail. When someone gets a DUI, it is considered an offense and usually has less penalties than would a felony. Making this a felony will make it tougher for Haskayne to be let off easily. Let this be a lesson to all. Let your first DUI be reason enough to not drink and drive again.
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Oscar De La Hoya Arrested for California DUI

Former world boxing champion, Oscar De La Hoya, was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the 43-year-old Golden Boy Promotions chairman, was taken into custody on Wednesday of last week after he was pulled over for speeding in Pasadena and later failed field sobriety tests.

Upon stopping De La Hoya, the CHP office “detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from inside the vehicle.”

It was at that point that the officer requested that De La Hoya exit his vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. “The driver was shown and demonstrated a series of field sobriety tests,” the CHP report said. “The driver agreed to the tests and failed to perform them as shown and demonstrated.”

De La Hoya has battled alcohol addiction in the past. He entered rehab twice since he retired following a loss to Manny Pacquiao in December of 2008. In an interview with The Times in 2015, De La Hoya claimed that he was sober.

However, several videos on TMZ have shown De La Hoya appearing to be intoxicated.

If convicted, De La Hoya faces up to six months in jail, informal probation, a DUI program, and up to $1,000 in fines and fees. 


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California Man Arrested for DUI in Golf Cart

I’ve written about people getting arrested for a DUI in a golf cart, but it’s been a while since it’s actually happened. That is until this past weekend.

La Quinta, California, known for its golf courses, was the stage for the latest DUI in a golf cart incident.

According to La Quinta police Sgt. Chris Frederick , 41-year-old Stephen Southam made "an unsafe turning movement," which caused Southam’s 59-year-old passenger to be ejected from the golf cart.

Southam’s passenger was taken to JFK Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries not thought to be life-threatening.

Southam was arrested on suspicion of driving the golf cart while under the influence of alcohol and booked into the Indio jail with bail set at $50,000. He was released on Monday with a court date set for March 21st.

Southam’s predicament begs the question: Do California DUI law apply to golf carts?

Although California DUI law requires that a person drive a “vehicle,” California Vehicle Code Section 670 defines a “vehicle” as “a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.”

Since a golf cart is a device which a person can propel down a highway, yes, you can get also get a DUI here in California for driving a golf cart while under the influence or with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent.

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