Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Consequences of Irresponsible and Negligent Driving

“What we sow, we reap in return” may be a fitting aphorism for the drunk driver who was charged and arrested for the death of a motorcyclist in a fatal vehicle accident in the article, “San Francisco Bay Bridge Accident Sends a Motorcyclist to His Death and Drunk Driver to Jail”, posted on July 23, 2008.

Ironically, the incident occurred in the picturesque San Francisco Bay Bridge and it involved a motorcyclist and a car driver, which accident resulted in the death of the motorcyclist.

Reports said the car driver was driving under the influence of alcohol when he sideswiped the motorcyclist. The car struck the rear of the motorcycle as the car was changing lanes. As a result, the motorcyclist died while the car driver was arrested and jailed for drunk driving.

This incident is another grim reminder of the risks posed by drunk driving, which is one of the perennial traffic safety problems in our country.

As cases like this continue unabated, it may well be good to remind motorists on the basics of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) based on the guidelines put up by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, which also appeared in the same article.

Here are some vital facts about it:

• Alcohol is quickly absorbed and can be measured within 30 to 70 minutes after a person has had a drink.

• The amount of alcohol measured in a person’s body is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood, which is known as BAC.

• The type of alcohol you drink does not affect your BAC, meaning a typical drink equals about half an ounce of alcohol (.54ounces), which is approximately equal to one shot of distilled spirits, or one 5-ounce glass of wine, or one 12-ounce beer.

• Because of several factors, it is often difficult to assess one’s own BAC or impairment.

• The failure to recognize alcohol impairment is itself a symptom of impairment.

• Every state has passed a law making it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.

This information may be useful but the best way to stay safe after drinking is to avoid driving. Otherwise, the consequences of driving drunk can result in tragedy like this one. Surely, no one wants to be arrested or be held liable for the death of another.