If you smoke it is more than likely that you know it would be beneficial to not do so. You know about cancer, emphysema, heart problems, respiratory problems, and the list goes. The media has all but bombarded us with this information plus the surgeon general has a warning on every pack. You know it costs anywhere between five and ten dollars a pack. Some of you are even wondering, “Where did you find the five dollar ones?” So you know quitting would save you an awful lot of money. Plus, there are the concerns about smell, the less and less convenient places to go, and quite often family and friend concerns that you get the privilege of listening to over and over and over again. Yet many people continue forward with this very risky habit. Why? Well there are actually a lot of answers but this example was primarily used to show that there is a practice that has people asking the same question.
Everybody knows that if you drink you should not drive. The reasons are even of greater magnitude. You are a danger to yourself and others. The number of car crashes caused by drunk driving is way above that of any other cause. The same is true of fatal car crashes. People know this for the same reason they know the health risks of smoking – the media sends out the message at least daily. Plus, you are risking a DUI arrest. In Washington, that has jail time, hefty fines and many other penalties. Yet many people choose to engage in this risky behavior. This begs the same question – WHY? The answers are multiple.
One of the major causes is that the driver does not know he is impaired. You may be thinking, “How can he not know whether he drank or not?” Of course he knows if he drank. But remember that Washington state law does not forbid any and all drinking and driving. It forbids impaired driving which it has defined as having a .08 blood alcohol content. So it can be possible to get behind the wheel and not know that you are impaired. Perhaps you just drank your drink and it has not really entered your bloodstream yet. This would mean that when you get behind the wheel you are not impaired but depending on how long your drive is you might be before you reach your destination. There are ways to avoid this situation. Think about how much you drank. Think about how far away your destination is. Think about whether you ate anything as well. If you drink what you usually drink but do not eat what you usually eat this will affect your body differently than usual. So consider all this and if you are questioning yourself, it might be simpler to find another means to get where you need to go.
Some people choose to drive drunk simply because they are not aware of another option to get home. Perhaps you do all or at least most of the driving for your family and there simply is not another vehicle available that you are aware of. Perhaps the only people who you would call for a ride are actually with you and so just as impaired. The rules about physical control DUI and busses not allowing intoxicated passengers can make this situation even more frustratingly complicated. The busses are only not allowed to give you a ride if you are visibly intoxicated. So if you are not and also do not cause any trouble the busses may actually be an option. Also, there are Uber drivers and taxis. It would be recommended to look for one of these options.
Some people drive drunk simply because they do not care about the laws and/or the safety. In other words, they think it is in their best interests to drive and do not consider the consequences. This is a costly error and one that I hope none of you have. For this one, what is recommended for your safety is that you be aware that there are other drivers on the road and some of these drivers may have this attitude.
The other scary reason is that some drivers do not even remember getting into their car. They are that intoxicated. Also just be aware of these potential other drivers.
If you have found yourself on the wrong end of Washington’s DUI laws you will want to find yourself a Pierce County / Tacoma defense attorney. Call or e-mail the law office of Smith & White, PLLC – your free case analysis awaits you.