Driving DUI in Los Angeles — as defined by California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 (a) and 23152 (b) — is dangerous, destructive, and potentially lethal.
When you are under the influence of alcohol, your ability to process and react to events on the road changes in bad ways. For instance, alcohol slows your reaction time. (The difference between a fatal, fiery crash and a scary “swerve at the last minute” near-miss might be just a few fractions of a second.)
Also, consumption of alcohol can lead you to engage in other risky behaviors, such as shouting on the cellphone while driving. For instance, if you are sober, and you get into an accident, you might do the smart thing and stop and wait for police. But if you are DUI, and you get into an accident, you might impulsively leave the scene and later get charged with a felony hit and run, which obviously would make your defense much more tricky.
But DUI driving is not the only bad type of driving. Here are two other subtle mistakes that many people make behind the wheel:
• They drive while not well rested.
An Australian study found that sober drivers kept awake for over 24 hours drove worse than DUI drivers. We all know that acute under-sleeping is bad for you, but chronic under-sleeping may also be bad. Perhaps the aggregate risk of sleeping one or two hours fewer than your need, day in, day out, may be worse than the risk of a single drive while exhausted.
• They drive while distracted by their own thoughts.
Driving while distracted by anything can also incrementally increase your risk. Distractions can include: loud music on the radio, a cellphone in your hand, a chitter-chattery passenger, and even the clamor of your own internal monologue. Everyone knows that texting and chatting on the cellphone while driving is a no-no. But how many accidents are caused because drivers are busy composing emails in their head or running through an internal monologue of some sort – as opposed to concentrating fully on the task of driving? Again, it’s riskier to text while driving than it is to space out while driving. But the amount of time that people spend spaced out while driving probably vastly exceeds the amount of time people text. So “spacing out” might actually cause more accidents than texting.
The point is that it’s not just our acute bad habits that put us at risk. It’s the chronic bad habits — the “minor” bad habits — that may arguably do more damage because we do them with so much more frequency.
Becoming a safer driver is not something you can do overnight, but there are many lessons that you can learn from your charges, if you are willing to listen and learn. Step one is to get in touch with an experienced Los Angeles DUI criminal defense lawyer, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Connect with attorney Kraut today for guidance. Continue reading