Labor Day drunk drivers will not be dealt with lightly in Connecticut this year. In joining an estimated 30,000 police officers around the country, Connecticut state and local law enforcement will be participating in a nationwide crackdown to reduce preventable drunk driving accidents that cost hundreds of innocent people their lives every year.
The Berlin Police Department will be taking additional caution this weekend by setting up a sobriety checkpoint on the evening of August 30. This initiative is one of several steps this department has taken this month to reduce local cases of drunk driving after receiving a special grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division. According to Patch, the allocated funds supported an increase in DUI detection and enforcement efforts running from November 2018 to Labor Day 2019.
The end-of-summer celebrations bring out more drunk drivers on Labor Day weekend than most other times of the year. Over 400 people are killed in traffic accidents over the three-day Labor Day weekend every year, and about 40 percent of these accidents are caused by drunk drivers.
Police officers are not the only advocates who can make a difference this Labor Day. All Connecticut residents have a responsibility to keep roads safe to reduce needless drunk driving fatalities and injuries. By driving sober and spreading awareness on the dangers alcohol can pose behind the wheel, you could help save lives too.
There’s No Safe Way To Drink and Drive
Labor Day is the second deadliest holiday on the road. Studies show you are 30 percent more likely to die in a drunk driving accident on this holiday than at any other time of the year. Around 79 percent of drunk driving fatalities occur at night, when road visibility is already at its worst.
Motorists who drink and drive on Labor Day give a number of excuses for why it’s ok: I’m only having one drink. I feel fine. I’m not driving far. Unforunately, these reasons do not make a drunk driver more capable behind the wheel.
Alcohol impairs the essential functions of an individual’s brain and body needed to operate a motor vehicle safely, including:
- reaction time
- visual acuity.
Contrary to popular belief, drivers do not have to drink an obscene amount of alcohol to experience the negative effects. One drink is more than enough to put several lives in danger.
Alcohol affects each driver differently, but there are a few predictable impairments. The N.H.T.S.A. lists the following negative consequences alcohol can have on someone’s driving abilities based on their Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.) level that could lead to serious accidents on the road:
- .02- Drivers experiences a decline in visual functions and the ability to perform two tasks at the same time.
- .05- Drivers experience reduced coordination, ability to track moving objects, reduced response times to emergency situations on the road, and difficulty steering.
- .08- Drivers experience reduced concentration, lack of speed control, short-term memory loss, reduced information processing capability, and overall impaired perception.
- .10- Drivers experience a reduced ability to stay in their lane or to break appropriately.
- .15- Drivers are typically substantially impaired and unable to control their vehicle safely. They cannot pay attention to driving tasks struggle with nectar visual and auditory information processing.
The N.H.T.S.A. data shows that even when driver has a B.A.C. at or under the legal limit for driving, motorists can experience significant impairments leading to fatal accidents.
Drunk Driving Is Skyrocketing In CT
Drunk driving in Connecticut is getting out of control. In 2017, the N.H.T.S.A. reported Connecticut had the highest percentage of drunk driving fatalities in all 50 states.
Police officers arrested 8,228 people on drunk driving charges across the state in 2017. Unfortunately, this was not enough. Out of the 278 fatal accidents recorded, 43 percent involved at least one drunk driver. Of these fatal accidents, 75 percent of drivers had a B.A.C. of more than double the legal limit.
Even more terrifying, the majority of drunk drivers causing fatal accidents in Connecticut were not first-time offenders. With drunk driving accidents increasing by at least 30 percent every Labor Day weekend, repeat and first time drunk drivers put everyone on the road at unnecessary risk for life-threatening accidents and injuries.
Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over- Know The Law
Driving is a privilege that can easily be lost when motorists do not drive with care. Drunk driving is one of the most reckless behaviors imaginable. Fatalities resulting from these accidents are 100 percent preventable, and the law is not easy on these offenders.
Drivers caught drunk driving in Connecticut can expect the following:
- You will be detained by the police and read your rights.
- Your vehicle will be towed at your expense.
- You will be transported to the police station in a police cruiser.
- If the test registers a B.A.C. of .08 or higher, you will be held on the presumption that you were operating under the influence.
- You will be kept in a police lock-up until you are bailed out.
- Your license could be suspended or revoked.
- You will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your car.
Fines and penalties drivers are subject to under Connecticut law when caught driving under the influence, include:
1st Offense Penalties
- Jail: 48 hours up to 6 months (or 100 hours off community service)
- Fines: $500 to $1,000
- License Suspension: 45 days
- Ignition Interlock Device: 1 year
2nd Offense Penalties
- Jail: 120 days to 2 years
- Fines: $1,000 to $4,000
- License Suspension: 45 days
- Ignition Interlock Device: 3 years
3rd Offense Penalties
- Jail: 1 to 3 years
- Fines: $2,000 to $8,000
- License Suspension: Permanent
- Ignition Interlock Device: no need- you cannot drive!
The cost of taking someone’s life in a drunk driving accident is a price that can never be relayed. Don’t take a chance this weekend. Drive sober or not at all.
Connecticut Accident Attorneys and Safety Advocates
As community safety advocates, our team at Jacobs & Wallace wishes everyone a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Plan ahead, stay alert and don’t take a risk with your family’s health this holiday.
If you or a loved has been injured in an accident due to the negligent acts of another, you may be eligible to receive compensation for any damages suffered. Contact our expert team of personal injury attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace for a free consultation to explore your options.