Sometimes a simple action can change your life. This is a simple truth of being a citizen of the planet Earth. Each decision we make has the potential to impact our lives on ways we never imagine. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol can have a life-changing impact.
If you do not believe me, just ask Lisa Maldonado. She has first-hand knowledge of how driving under the influence of alcohol can permanently affect a life. To her credit, she is acting to try and influence teenagers so it does not happen to them. Most recently she spoke to a group of high school students. As reported in www.recordnet.com.
A county sheriff's deputy stood by and an audience of hundreds of teenagers watched Maldonado be sentenced for drinking and driving and witnessed her goal of joining the military slip away.
"Don't drink and drive" is a message drilled into teens over and over, but in an effort to make it stick, local attorneys a Superior Court judge decided to take the court to schools and conduct DUI hearings in the county Superior Court system's "Choices and Consequences" program.
What might have appeared to be staged was a genuine court hearing set up at Linden High School.
The 20-year-old Maldonado agreed to have her case unfold in front of students in hopes they heed her warning.
Maldonado was looking forward to becoming part of the U.S. Army before she made a crucial mistake one night that changed her future. After drinking with friends, she got hungry in the middle of the night and decided to drive to McDonald's intoxicated.
The high schoolers fixed their eyes on Maldonado as a deputy handcuffed her and escorted her out of the building after the sentencing.
She was sentenced her to three years' probation and one day in jail and ordered her to pay a $2,825 fine.
I think this a strong program and should be implemented more often in high schools across the country. I have long espoused the need for mandatory alcohol awareness classes. The alcohol classes, combined with real life experiences like Maldonado’s, may not only save futures but lives.
If you are a reader of the daily blog here at onlinealcoholclass.com you are subjected to constant reminders to the dangers of drinking and driving. Every day, hundreds of people lose their lives because someone chose to get behind the wheel intoxicated.
Following is yet another example of why I encourage everyone to take an alcohol class and never get behind the wheel of a car if they have been drinking. As reported in www.sfexaminer.com.
This story involves a man who fatally struck a high school girl on her 17th birthday in San Francisco. She lost her life. He will spend the next six months behind bars. Many lives will never be the same.
The driver was 29-year-old Kieren Brewer. The San Francisco native killed 17-year-old Hanren Chang, a junior at San Francisco's Lowell High School.
Hanren was struck while crossing a street around 11 p.m. after celebrating her birthday that day.
Brewer pleaded guilty to three felony charges of vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing injury.
In addition to jail time, Brewer was sentenced to five years' probation and six months under home detention with an ankle monitor as well as being forced to undergo a nine-month DUI program, serve 300 hours of community service and pay thousands of dollars in court and restitution fees.
To his credit, Brewer was quite contrite, but that will never bring back the beautiful 17-year-old life that was so tragically taken. Could an alcohol class have saved a life? The answer to this question cannot be answered. I am hopeful Brewer will not only decide to remain sober for life, but dedicate part of his life to helping others not become victims to horrors of drinking and driving.
Perhaps I am overly sensitive to the topic because I am the educational director for an online alcohol class, but the rate of teens drinking and driving is downright terrifying.
Do you have a teenage child? If so, you should be concerned about drinking and driving. How about this – if you are naïve enough to believe your teen is immune to the perils of drinking and driving ask yourself a pair of questions. First, did you ever drink and drive as a teenager? Did you know anyone who drank and drove in high school? I am certain the answer to at least one of those questions will be a definitive yes! As reported in www.losangelesduidefenseblog.com.
Here are some frightening statistics.
This one is not a huge surprise. In 2006, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was 36% versus 9% or four times higher at night than during the day.
How surprising is this? In 2007, 64% of young drivers in passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking were not wearing a seat belt. Obviously, drunken drivers are less likely to use restraints.
In 2008, an estimated 12.4% of persons ages 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once during the last 12 months.
In 2009, 16- to 20-year-old age drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher were involved in 19 percent of all fatal crashes.
In 2010, Statistics suggest that an underage male with BAC levels of 0.05 percent is 18 times more vulnerable to crash his vehicle than an underage male who hasn’t consumed alcohol. In underage females, this vulnerability increases to 54 times over her non-drinking counterpart.
In 2011, 10.3 percent of high school students 16 and older reported drinking and driving in the past 30 days.
You know from personal experience and knowledge that drinking and driving is hazardous. Please, I encourage all of you to take a good online alcohol class with your teenager. If you don’t have a teenager, take an online alcohol class yourself.
We all know people who drink and drive. The sad fact is there are thousands of impaired drivers on the roads all around us every single day. It is no wonder there are not many more traffic fatalities caused by drinking and driving
Think about your friends and family? How many do you know that drink and drive? Odds are, if you are reading the onlinealcoholclass.com blog, you know more than one. Perhaps you drink and drive on occasion – perhaps even more than just occasionally. As reported in www.ky3.com.
Please note, neither you, nor your family or friends, are immune from this coming back to bite you. It will happen. Please stop this behavior it could cost you or someone else the rest of a possible happy lifetime.
Here is a story about a person who will kill someone if they do not stop their DUI behavior. There is no doubt no doubt he needs more than just an educational alcohol and DUI prevention class. Of course, as the educational director for an online alcohol class I try to keep up with driving under the influence (DUI) stories around the world.
A Florida man stopped for DUI had a unique excuse, telling police he was trying to "drive it off."
Michael Moore, 61, told police he had left his home after an argument with his wife, during which she accused him of drinking too much.
He said he had been driving to a bar to get some more drinks and "drive it off," according to an arrest affidavit. Real smart, right? I hope Moore takes a good alcohol class and makes smarter decisions in the future.
Recently at the onlinealcoholclass.com blog we looked at a serial offender of driving under the influence (DUI of alcohol who had been arrested 19 times. It has been estimated that for each time caught, a DUI offender has driven while intoxicated 400 times. That means that 68-year-old offender drove in a drunken state almost 8,000 times.
Here is another story of a senior citizen that drives intoxicated quite often and refuses to stay off the road. Jacqueline Luzzani is a serious danger to both herself and the public. The 58-year-old sat in court and could only sit and listen as the judge listed off her long list of drunken driving offenses which include driving under the influence, hit-and-run unattended, driving under the influence and negligent driving. As reported in www.kirotv.com.
This time she was pulled over by a Washington state trooper for not wearing her seatbelt. When the officer approached her window she said “I'm going to tell you right now, I'm drunker than a skunk."
Luzzani’s condition was easy to verify as her speech was slurred, her eyes were bloodshot and she reeked of alcohol.
Her driving record showed four prior DUI charges and another six DUI cases still pending.
Luzzani was supposed to have an ignition interlock device, which is like a Breathalyzer for a car. It won’t start if the driver has been drinking. This was the third time she was caught in a car without one.
According to state law, a DUI is a felony is someone is convicted of four in 10 years. It looks like that in addition to alcohol classes she is going to spend some time behind bars.
Obviously she has serious addiction issues where alcohol is concerned. I mean how many times are you going to roll the dice and hope a pedestrian doesn't walk out in front of you, or you don't take out someone in a crosswalk before seeking help for your alcohol problem?
The scary part of people driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is that they usually do not get caught. It has been estimated that for every DUI arrest, a driver has operated his vehicle 400 times under the influence.
One sure-fire way to get caught is to run into a police cruiser! As reported in www.ksl.com.
A man who police say has a history of DUI arrests was taken into custody after he smashed into a police officer's patrol car. Of course the incident occurred in the middle of the night- about 2 a.m.
The police officer had just pulled over to help another driver when he looked in his side mirror and saw a pickup truck in his lane was about to hit him. The truck smashed into the driver's side of the police vehicle, causing extensive damage to the door and front end, and kept driving.
The officer was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a shoulder injury and later released. Terril James Reeves then tried to flee, but his truck broke down about a mile later. The driver tried to get out and run but was arrested a short time later.
The arresting officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on the driver's breath, and Reeves also failed field sobriety tests. He was arrested for investigation of DUI, leaving the scene of an injury accident, and driving with no insurance and on revoked registration.
This is not his first run-in with the law. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to DUI in Salt Lake Justice Court, and in 2007, Reeves was convicted in West Valley City Justice Court of failing to remain at the scene of an accident.
There is no doubt Reeves is in dire need of alcohol treatment. The first intervention could be a 24 hour online alcohol class and some counseling.