Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on August 20th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

Drunk Driving on the Rise—Plan to Party-Have a Party Plan, St. Louis!

Posted on August 20th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

Drunk Driving on the Rise---Plan to Party-Have a Party Plan, St. Louis!Statistics show that for the first time in 10 years, alcohol related car accidents are on the rise.  According to sources citing the Institute for Advanced Motorists, they indicated that the rise occurred after fatalities were at their lowest for over 30 years in 2010.  Simon Best, chief executive, for IAM said, “The problem is many crashes occur the morning after”.  So, if you are going to party—plan the party and have a party plan!   I thoroughly understand the desire to have a good time. My college experience was all about a good party– I was a social chairman in my fraternity for a good reason! But it only takes one occasion of not planning before drinking to ruin a life—including yours.  Realizing the fact that after you drink alcohol, your body may take more than just the nighttime hours to recover, meaning, the next morning after a night out…..your alcohol level may still be too high to drive.  Being a donkey at a party is one thing, being a donkey on the roadway and injuring others is quite another.

Somehow we are led to believe if the sun has come up, then we are completely sober and “good” to drive. This is not always the case.  Many factors contribute to your sobriety including the amount of alcohol you consumed, your body weight, amount of food you consumed and hours since consumption.  Passing out at 3 a.m. and waking up at 7:30 a.m. doesn’t mean that you are sober.  Hey, most of us have been there and thought just because the hangover had set it, we were sober……………not true.

Planning the 24 hours after you consume alcohol is as critical as the ride home from the drinking.  Many of us do not think that far down the road but we are going to have to or suffer the loss of more lives and serious injuries. When you represent victims of serious car accidents daily, you are confronted with the consequences of bad decisions daily. Often our clients were in accidents that did not involve alcohol or substance. Since serious car accidents happen so easily due to human error, why add the factor of alcohol?

Apparently, the increased awareness of drinking and driving has made people more aware of not driving after a night of partying. However, experts agree that more education is needed for people to truly understand the lasting effects of alcohol.  According to the IAM, a heavy night of drinking can still leave you over the legal limit into the morning after!

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), alcohol related motor vehicle accidents cost more than $37 billion annually and in 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.  According to that number, one person died every 51 minutes on average.  This high number of alcohol related accidents makes is far more possible that you individually have been “touched” by an alcohol related behavior of someone making a bad decision in a car after use of alcohol. These car accidents are always senseless and tragic because they are so avoidable.

Riding at speeds over 70 mph is a dangerous concept when thinking about human error, let alone when you add the alcohol factor. How many of us, individually, have made a bad personal decisions after alcohol use……isn’t that the point? Or the way we explain so many of our bad behaviors?  “I was drunk”…..but that is not an acceptable reason if you climb behind the wheel. Why? Because your poor decision behind the wheel does not just impact you, but others. Your bad decisions can end or seriously change another person’s life forever.  What many don’t think about is, “How do you live with the consequence and guilt of damaging or killing another person while you were under the influence?”  I would hate to live with that idea and have heard first-hand stories from good folks who climbed behind the wheel after just a couple of drinks and hit someone.  Not only was it the life of the others in the crash, but usually the drunk driver’s life is altered forever—-either through legal consequences or guilt.  I would urge you to think about that and plan to party.  Meaning, before you party—–plan for your transportation after the party and think about the worst/best case scenario. Always assume you will consume more than planned as we usually do. As well, consider what kinds of activities/transportation do you have the following day.

When you climb behind the wheel, you are accepting a risk and a responsibility.  Every day we risk our lives when climbing in a motor vehicle but since we do it every day, we tend to not think about it until an accident happens.  We believe that each and every one of us has to take responsibility for our behaviors when we are driving.  At The Cagle Law Firm, we represent victims of car accidents that have sustained serious injuries. Serious injuries are those injuries that change your life.  Usually, only accidents that result in serious injuries require you to get an attorney. If it is merely a property damage claim, often you can negotiate that with insurance company yourself. You may wonder if your injuries are serious enough to get an attorney. If you are asking that question of yourself, then you should probably seek information.  At our firm, we provide information and consultation free of charge in order to help you make the best decision. If you are injured then negotiating with insurance companies is not what you need or want to be doing—-it’s what we do every day.

Gaining information to preserve your financial well-being is almost as important as your medical well-being. Call Zane T. Cagle at (314) 276-1681 for your free consultation and get your questions answered.