As I help you board the train I hand you a white business card with black lettering. It simply says…
A designated driver helps you party another day.
Hello LifeTrain passengers, Super Bowl weekend is upon us. For many folks that means celebrating! Office parties, family get-togethers, social outings, etc. Drinking and driving is especially high during this weekend, thus the reason for this discussion.
No sense in putting our heads in the ground like an Ostrich or ignoring the proverbial “White Elephant ” in the room. Time for some real talk. We mentioned celebration and sometimes that celebration is paired with libation which increases chances for DWI’s. It happens, and my prayer is it won’t happen to you or a loved one. Nothing good can come from that. However, things happen, life happens and if you or a loved one is faced with this situation let’s take a look at a conversation I had recently with my good friend, Attorney Ewing Carter III.
Note: Even though I am his athletic and academic superior, I do want to thank the attorney for doing these articles. Trust me, if you ever need a lawyer, these articles will help prepare you for what to expect so…Thank you Attorney Carter for allowing us a peek into the legal world. However, we will note that this is not to be construed as legal advice.
EC III: As for the first part of your opening statement, in your dreams dude in your dreams. However, it is my pleasure to ride and share with you and the passengers here on the LifeTrain…you are doing some good work…especially for a mentally challenged chap like yourself.
Chuckie: Enough of the pleasantries, Tell me sir…How does the law know if I’ve had too much to drink before I drive?
EC III: In most all 50 states, if a person is operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, they can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) / driving under the influence (DUI). A key consideration is that you can be impaired by any substance you ingest (alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription drugs). Generally, the “Officer of the Peace “, (policeman, sheriff, DMV officer, park ranger, etc.) can make the decision to stop and investigate a person, if he/she has a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is driving while subject to an impairing substance. Tell-tale signs are: weaving, speeding, driving too slowly, making too wide of a turn, just to name a few.
Chuckie: What should I do or say if I am stopped for DWI?
EC III: Be as cooperative as possible. The officer will ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. He will be developing an opinion about “you” to determine to whether further investigation is warranted. Noted signs of impairment are: slurred speech, obvious odor of alcohol, disheveled clothing, and bloodshot eyes.
Chuckie: If the officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test, should I comply, or refuse?
EC III: The decision is totally yours to make. However, there are some facts to consider
Driving is a privilege, and not a constitutional right. Because driving is a privilege, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines under what circumstance a person can operate a motor vehicle along
the road and highways of their state.
If you decide to refuse to take the breath test, the DMV will revoke your privilege to drive for a certain period of time. This revocation is generally for one (1) year. However, obtaining a Driving Privilege in order to drive back and forth to work can be obtained from the Court. In North Carolina, again, if you refuse the breath test, there is a 6-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Driving Privilege. Conversely, if you take the test, and your BAC in not excessive, then there is no waiting period for the Driving Privilege.
Well passengers, there you have it…Best case scenario, remember this:
The driver is safer when the roads are dry; the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Think of your future, Think of your date, Then think before making that fatal mistake, Don’t Drink and Drive.
Enjoy the game passengers, remember there is now UBER, Lyft and that one guy who takes one for the team…the designated driver.
All Aboard, The LifeTrain!