Drunk Driving Past Police Officers: Not Exactly the Brightest Idea

Drunk Driving Past Police Officers: Not Exactly the Brightest Idea | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

While driving intoxicated is always extremely irresponsible and dangerous, doing so directly in front of a police officer increases the level of stupidity. Two recent incidents of drunk driving around police officers bring to light the serious consequences of drunk driving. Our auto accident attorneys are experienced in winning compensation for victims of intoxicated driving accidents. Motorists must be held liable for their risky conduct.

One recent drunk driving incident seems almost too ridiculous to be real. The driver in the incident sped past a police station prompting police to follow him. According to the Chicago Tribune, when he was finally pulled over police officers said he reeked of alcohol. Officers requested that he exit the vehicle to complete a breathalyzer.

Upon doing so, the man could barely stand and an officer had to stabilize him to walk over to the breathalyzer machine. At that point, the driver retorted that his attorney told him not to blow into tests if he was drunk. Unbelievably, this was only the beginning of his trouble.

Officers then discovered a water bottle full of alcohol in the console, and a can of Dust-Off keyboard cleaner, which is commonly abused to get high. The driver then made matters worse when he offered to pay the officers $5000 dollars to let him go. Officers inquired where he would get the money, to which he handed over a USB thumb drive.

On the way to the station officers checked the drive and uncovered lists of social security numbers and credit card information. The man refused to comment on the information, deferring further questions to his unnamed attorney. Despite the ridiculousness of this incident, the driver and civilians were lucky that he was apprehended before anyone was injured.

Unfortunately, other officers are not always this lucky. In early June, a trial concluded for a Texas driver who caused the brutal death of a police officer while driving. The driver reportedly sped towards a road block and struck an officer, who was killed instantly. The driver’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.15, three times over the legal limit, a few hours after the accident. 

Like the driver in the recent Chicago drunk driving charade, this driver also had an extensive list of violations. As a child, the driver was brought to the U.S. illegally by his parents. Now, a high school dropout at the age of 22, he has been deported multiple times. Prosecutors in the case used this conduct to poke holes in his character, saying that this horrendous death never would have happened if he just stayed out of the country as ordered.

Despite, positive character testimony by his mother, and a sobbing fit where the defendant tried to say he kept returning to the U.S. to visit his sick grandfather; it is unlikely the jury will have any sympathy for him. Deliberations are currently ongoing. If found guilty, the driver could face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison.

Common sense and incidents like these make it crystal clear that driving while intoxicated is never acceptable behavior. But a recent French study surprisingly revealed that driving while sleepy is equally as dangerous as drunk driving. According to CNBC, a driver with four hours of sleep deprivation faces the same impairments as someone who consumed an entire six pack before taking the wheel.

The study also asserted that familiar remedies for driving while you are sleepy are less effective than expected. While coffee can give a temporary energy boost, opening the window or playing loud music actually does nothing to improve a driver’s alertness. Apparently these tactics are only effective for masking sleepiness rather than making a driver safer.

Study results show that men under the age of 55 are the most at risk group to be in an accident. The researcher’s best tip is to take a quick nap before hitting the road. With no mechanism, like a breathalyzer, to test drivers for sleepiness, people must hold themselves accountable. Our experienced car accident lawyers can help you if you or a loved one is injured in a serious accident.