Everyone knows that driving under the influence in Los Angeles (or anywhere, frankly) puts drivers at an elevated risk of getting into accidents, hurting themselves and others, and causing property damage. However, to understand the true risks associated with dangerous driving of any kind, you need context.
Someone just barely overly the legal limit (as established by California Vehicle Code Section 23152) of 0.08% BAC — who is otherwise alert, driving on a sunny, clear road and at a stable, slow speed — is probably far less likely to get into a crash than someone driving with the same BAC level at night, while blasting music and chatting with a girlfriend on a cellphone.
Driving risk factors stack up.
To maximize your safety on the road, be aware not just of your alcohol consumption but also of other elements that could make driving less safe. For instance:
• Your level of distraction – are you fully attentive behind the wheel?
• Are you listening to music or eating?
• Are you chatting with someone on a cellphone? (Even talking on a hands free headset can lead to driving errors comparable to the errors you’d make while DUI, according to research from the University of Utah.)
• How tired are you? (Fatigue is a major factor in auto accidents. One study out of Australia found that someone who stays up 24 hours in a row exhibits a level of impairment commensurate with DUI level of impairment.)
• What are the road conditions like? Are the roads potholed and bumpy or smooth and well-marked?
• Weather – is it dry? Or is it raining? (The first 45 minutes after a rain following a long period of dryness can be quite treacherous.)
As El Niño stirs up trouble in the Pacific, weather forecasters expect serious rain here in the Southland this winter. These bouts of rain will be dispersed with periods of dryness, so we can expect the weather to ratchet up the level of treacherousness on the Los Angeles roads and complicate car accident cases. (For instance, was your wreck caused by DUI driving or by slick conditions or both?)
Call the strategic, respected Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers, and recover peace of mind and clarity about your situation.