How Many People have Driven Drunk Last Month?


A new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that two percent of American adults have admitted to driving drunk at least once over the prior month. This amounts to about 4.2 million people.

The study, which was published August 7th in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, analyzed data gathered from a 2012 annual federal government survey. The CDC researchers led by Amy Jewett found “an estimated 4.2 million adults reported at least one alcohol-impaired driving episode in the preceding 30 days, resulting in an estimated 121 million episodes [per year].”

The study also found that men aged 21 to 34 made up of one third of all drunk driving episodes and men, overall, made up 80 percent of drunk drivers.

According to the study, “binge drinkers,” which amount to four percent of adults, accounted for two-thirds of all drunk driving incidents. Binge drinkers included men who consume five or more drinks on one occasion and women who consume four or more drinks on one occasion.

The study noted that drunk driving rates vary amongst states. The highest rates came from the Midwest. The was not a surprise to the researchers who acknowledged, “persons living in the Midwest have consistently reported higher alcohol-impaired driving rates than those living in other regions.”

It also seems that those who drive drunk are more likely to engage in other risky driving behavior. People who reported to sometimes not wearing their seatbelt were three-times more likely to drive under the influence than those who consistently buckle-up.

The CDC study serves as a reminder that it is not enough to not drive drunk, but that we need to be aware that drunk drivers are out there and that we need to engage in defensive driving every time we get in our cars.

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DUI for Military Members


It’s not uncommon to see local servicemen and servicewomen on leave out at the bars. And it’s no wonder with California being the home of 32 military bases. Serviceman of servicewoman should be aware that their DUI, if they are arrested for one, may be treated differently than a civilian’s DUI. Additionally, they may face additional consequences from their commands.

 

Military bases are considered federal land. As such, crimes committed on military bases are subject to federal laws, not state laws.

The Code of Federal Regulations states that a person can be convicted of a DUI under federal law if they are 1.) unable to safely operate a vehicle because they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, 2.) they have a BAC is .10 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or .01 gram or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, or 3.) the person could be charged under the state law if the state law is more restrictive than the above standards. Although federal law governs the case, the Assimilative Crimes Act allows the court to impose the penalties from the state in which the military base is located.

As I mentioned, servicemen and servicewomen may also face additional penalties simply because they are military members. Whether the DUI occurred on a military base or not, military members may also be court martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A court martial may result in further penalties including suspension of favorable personnel actions, reduction in pay and rank, reprimand, denial of promotions and leaves, and possible dishonorable discharge.

Military members however may face non-judicial punishment, also known as NJP, under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which allows commanders to discipline military members without a court martial. Although an NJP is not a criminal conviction, it can result of in many of the same punishments as a court martial.

Furthermore, if a DUI conviction results in a license suspension, servicemen and service women will not be able to drive any military vehicles including, but not limited to, tanks, Humvees, or aircraft. 

 

 

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Boyfriend and Girlfriend Busted for DUI One Hour Apart


An hour is not enough time to sober up, at least not for Christopher McFarlane. 

 

McFarland was the passenger in his girlfriend’s car when she was pulled over after California Highway Patrol officers spotted her vehicle swerving in Santa Rosa, California. Anna Arthur was arrested for driving under the influence and McFarlane was, himself, too drunk to drive Arthur’s Honda home. McFarlane walked to Arthur’s house.

“This guy wasn’t falling-down drunk, but was definitely over 0.08” percent, the legal limit for driving, said CHP officer Jonathan Sloat.

About an hour later and shortly after Arthur was booked into Sonoma County Jail, officers spotted a McFarlane driving a Jetta. McFarlane told officers that he was on his way to the jail to bail out Arthur.

McFarlane, apparently, had not yet sobered up because, according to Sloat, “The officers still noticed signs of intoxication, and McFarlane failed field sobriety tests.”

It was also determined that McFarlane was on probation and his license was suspended for a DUI conviction last year. As a result, not only was McFarlane booked on suspicion of a California DUI, he was also booked for violation of probation and driving on a suspended license.

McFarlane is going to need more than love to get him out of this jam. He’ll need a California DUI attorney. At least if both he and Arthur are convicted, they might be able to do their DUI classes together. 

 

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Study: Uber Lowering DUI Deaths in California


A new study from Temple University has concluded that Uber’s operation in California has decreased the number of DUI related deaths in California.

Business professors, Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal analyzed data collected between 2009 and 2014 and found that the launch of UberX, the economy version of Uber, created a 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent decrease in DUI fatalities in California cities featuring UberX.

Rates paid by UberX customers are about 20 to 30 percent lower than rates paid by taxi customers. Obtaining a ride through UberX is also more convenient than hailing a cab. All a customer has to do request an UberX ride is access the app on their phone. Personal information, including payment information and location, is already pre-programed into the app.

Greenwood and Wattal believe that these conveniences are what lead would-be drunk drivers to prefer using UberX to cabs.

According to the study, if the results are accurate, an estimated 500 lives per year would be saved throughout the country as a result of UberX’s services.

Greenwood and Wattal will be presenting their study in Vancouver, Canada next week at the Academy of Management Conference, as municipalities throughout Canada, including Vancouver, are looking to prevent Uber and other ride-sharing services from operating in certain cities.

Uber recently faced criticism as it was discovered that several Uber drivers had criminal records.

Big diff, if you ask me.

Another alternative to driving drunk is a good alternative.

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MADD Chapter President Resigns After DUI Charges


Even those who fight for tougher laws against drunk driving sometimes make the mistake of driving drunk, themselves.

The president of the Prince Edward Island chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), has resigned after being charged with driving under the influence this past June.

David Griffin, 65, is a former deputy chief of the Summerside Police Department and the, now former, volunteer president of the MADD chapter.

The CEO of MADD Canada, Andrew Murie, said Griffin offered his resignation soon after he was charged with drunk driving. Murie said they had no choice but to accept his resignation.

"Obviously, we’re very disappointed, as an organization, that one of our members has been charged with impaired driving," Murie told CTV News from Oakville, Ontario.

Murie added that Griffin apologized to the MADD chapter before resigning.

Griffin is scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month.

Unfortunately for Griffin, Canada considers driving under the influence a much more serious offense than California does, so much so in fact, that they consider it an “indictable offense.” This is the functional equivalent to a felony under California law.  Unlike California, where a DUI is, for the most part, considered a misdemeanor for a first, second and third offense and punishable up to a year in jail, a DUI in Canada is punishable up to five years in jail.

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