Austin Police Crack Down on Drunk Driving

driver is drunk, needs helpAustin police officers were met with great success last weekend, tallying 99 alcohol-related arrests in an attempt to cut down on drunk driving over the holiday weekend. July 4 through July 7 marked a “no-refusal” period, in which police officers took blood samples from drivers who refused a breath test.

The no-refusal weekend, which targeted motorists and boaters, nabbed 13 people Wednesday night, 33 people on Thursday night, 32 on Friday night, and 21 on Saturday night. Austin police said more than 60 percent of the arrests needed a blood sample.

No-refusal crackdowns have been successful in the past; in May, 94 people were arrested over Memorial Day weekend, and 50 people received DWI charges during June’s Republic of Texas Biker Rally. The initiative requires judges on standby that work with the police department to obtain search warrants that require arrested drivers to give a blood test.

The July 4 holiday is typically the most dangerous period on the road for drivers across the United States–on average, more than 130 people have died on Independence Day over the past six years. Most of those accidents are alcohol-related, or the result of distracted driving. Last year in Austin, police recorded almost 200 accidents and 110 DWI arrests. Senior Police Officer Veneza Bremner said APD’s goal is to have “no crashes, no injuries, no deaths related to persons driving while intoxicated.” There were no DWI deaths during this year’s celebrations.

According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, drivers arrested for DWI face a long and difficult process that includes driver’s license suspension and community service. Being charged with a DWI is serious. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, make sure to get an experienced attorney to guide you through your case.

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The Unforeseen Real Dangers of BUI

Besides drunk-driving, another major cause of accident that continues to claim the lives of hundreds of individuals is BUI, that is, boating under the influence. In fact, the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division’s official website, has an online article, which says that: BUI is just as deadly as drunk-driving; drinking will impair a boat operator faster than a car driver; and, 1/3 of all recreational boating accidents are due to alcohol impairment. Because of the dangers brought about by BUI, those who violate US laws regarding it will suffer jail terms, huge fines and revocation of operator privileges.

The federal BUI law enforced by the United States Coast Guard is applicable to all types of boats, including the largest ships, rowboats and canoes; it even includes foreign vessels sailing through U.S. territories and U.S. ships on the high seas.

Drinking alcohol or liquor, while on sea, can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment, much faster than when alcohol is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where the boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling over board have been common cause-of-death reports.

The over-all various threatening effects of alcohol when it is consumed while on sea include:

  • Deterioration of judgment and cognitive abilities, rendering wise assessment of situations, processing of information and making good choices, much harder
  • Impairment in physical control, resulting to failure to make timely reactions to dangers, lack of coordination and problem in balance
  • Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception, difficulty in identifying colors, especially green and red
  • Failure to pull self out of the cold water, causing hypothermia and death

Operating any vessel while under the influence of a dangerous drug or alcohol can result in class A misdemeanor charges which can require an individual to pay a $5,000 (or maybe less) civil penalty to the U.S. government.

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