Drinking and driving: ‘Not worth the risk’ | News, Sports, Jobs



HOUGHTON — There are several questions depending on who you ask. “The deadliest holiday to drive on.” Some argue that Memorial Day is the deadliest. Some insist on the 4th of July, others on New Year’s Eve. But any day someone drives after consuming alcohol, that day is potentially the day with the highest mortality rate. Bactrack.com also agrees.

“It’s easy to calculate for yourself the most dangerous days to drive.” the website says. “If you drink and drive, you increase your risk of getting into a car accident.

The Highway Patrol department is more data savvy than you. If you plan to drink during times of heightened driving risk, be aware that highway patrols are on high alert and determined to keep intoxicated drivers off the highway. “

BACtrack is a manufacturer of breath detectors for consumers, businesses, schools, clinics, hospitals, military and law enforcement.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 32 people die every day in the United States in crashes caused by drunk drivers. That’s one death every 45 minutes every day. According to NHTSA, 11,654 road deaths were caused by drunk driving in 2020, up 14% from 2019.

The NHTSA website explains that as alcohol levels rise in a person’s body, their negative effects on the central nervous system increase. Alcohol is absorbed directly through the walls of the stomach and small intestine. It then enters the bloodstream and accumulates until it is metabolized in the liver.

A person’s alcohol concentration is measured by the weight of alcohol in a given volume of blood. This is called blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A BAC of 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood (g/dL) increases the risk of collision exponentially. Because of this risk, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Houghton City Police Lieutenant Nick Roberts said his department will step up patrols over the three-day weekend. He said patrols will be a little easier as the university goes on semester break, but bars are still open.

“If you want to drink” Roberts said, “Just don’t drive. Period. Not worth the risk.”

What happens is that a lot of the time people will say they just have it. “Drink” — and it’s not. He also said that the person originally appointed as the designated driver is often no longer the designated driver.

“Then they’re stuck driving anyway.” He said. “Zero tolerance. If you’re going drinking, don’t drive. Find someone who’s completely sober. Don’t put yourself or others in danger.”

A BAC level of 0.08 is considered legally intoxicating, but lower alcohol levels also cause impairment. NHTSA says a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of as little as 0.02 impairs judgment. Relaxation, slight body warmth, mood changes. That level causes a decrease in visual function (rapid tracking of moving targets), as well as a decrease in his ability to perform two tasks (split attention).

Hancock Police Chief Tami Sleeman agrees with Lieutenant Roberts.

“If you plan to go out” she suggests, “Please arrange a ride in advance.”

Mr Roberts continued: “If you cannot find your designated driver, a safe alternative is to walk.”

Roberts said drinking isn’t the only way to celebrate.

“There are other ways to enjoy yourself.” He said. “You don’t have to drink alcohol to enjoy New Year’s Eve.”

Roberts says some people think you need to go to a bar and drink on New Year’s Eve, but no one needs to.

Under Michigan’s Disabled Driving Law, it is a crime for a driver to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher for those aged 21 or over and 0.02 or higher for those under 21.

NHTSA states that at .08 BAC, muscle coordination (balance, speech, vision, reaction time, hearing, etc.) is impaired, making it difficult to perceive danger. Judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired. At .08, predictable effects on driving include loss of concentration, loss of short-term memory, speed control, reduced information processing capacity (signal detection, visual search, etc.), and perceptual disturbances.

However, drivers can be arrested at any BAC level if they show signs of disability while driving a motor vehicle.

Costs and Consequences of DUI Convictions in Michigan

If your BAC is less than 0.17 and this is your first offense:

– Fines up to $500.

– Up to 93 days imprisonment.

– Up to 360 hours of community service.

– License suspension for up to 180 days.

– 6 points for a driver’s license.

Additionally, Michigan has a high BAC law that increases penalties for driving with a BAC of 0.17 or higher.

If your BAC is 0.17 or higher and this is your first offense:

– Fines up to $700

– Up to 180 days in prison

– Up to 360 hours of community service

– License suspension for up to 1 year

– 6 points for driver’s license

– Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program

– Use and compliance with the ignition interlock after a 45-day license suspension is required to obtain a restricted driving license. Convicted drunk drivers have limited driving privileges, are prohibited from operating a vehicle without an approved and properly installed ignition interlock device, and are responsible for all installation and maintenance costs of the device. is responsible for the cost of

Additionally, anyone who refuses to take a breath test for the first time will automatically receive a one-year license suspension. In the event of her second refusal within seven years, suspension is her two years.

Convicted drunk drivers will be fined $1,000 for two consecutive years under the Driver Liability Act, with additional costs totaling $2,000.

And, as Roberts pointed out, in addition to legal costs, fees and fines, DUI convictions can dramatically increase auto insurance premiums.

“The biggest thing is just to be responsible.” he suggests “Don’t drive if you’re going drinking. Period.”

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