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Posts Tagged ‘drinking and driving’

Ridesharing –

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Ridesharing is a brilliant idea! Not only does it encourage people to not drink and drive, it also is great for the environment and fuel conservation. I am curious as to how much money an Uber or Lyft driver actually makes. And if it is a lucrative business move to become an independent driver. Of course, being a single mom, I have more part-time jobs now than I can handle just to make ends meet. Yes, jobs are scarce, because I have all of the jobs. If I gave up a few of them, it would likely help to balance the economy. So, the last thing I need is another job. But what are the requirements to become an independent driver? I know that cab drivers require special certifications and licensing. They must attend defensive driving classes, additional training and background checks. I’ve only taken Uber once, and the fare was surprisingly low. But then, it was not during peak traffic conditions.

The latest news buzz is all about Uber and Lyft suspending their business in Austin, Texas because they want to regulate their own drivers. While the new city ordinance requires companies like Uber and Lyft to be regulated like taxis. That means, among other things, drivers would have to be fingerprinted as part of a background check. According to a report by NPR, last year, Uber and Lyft withdrew from San Antonio over a similar requirement that drivers be fingerprinted. The companies returned months later under a program that made fingerprinting voluntary. Meanwhile, Houston also has rules requiring drivers for ride-hailing apps to be fingerprinted. Uber has previously threatened to withdraw from Houston over that ordinance. According to Culturemap Houston, the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, responded, “If it comes down to public safety on one hand and Uber staying on the other, I don’t think it is even close.” Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles are considering similar regulations on ride-hailing apps, according to The Associated Press.

So, although independent drivers may not be as stringently regulated as cab drivers, it still worries me that they may not be available in such a large “party city” like Austin. With 6th street all abuzz, South By Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits (ACL) and many other annual festivals where people come from all over the world to attend, and drinking is a part of that experience, for most, it is disturbing that more people will be likely to drink and drive. Although cabs will still be available, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) claims that Uber, for one, is saving lives because it is an easy app to manipulate when impaired. The app retains your credit card information, so no money is exchanged with the driver, and the tip is already rolled into the fare. It retains your home address and GPS will let the driver know where you are when requesting a ride. Accidents and DWI related fatalities will likely be at staggering (no pun intended) all time highs (again, no pun intended).

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Ridesharing – Comedy Defensive Driving

Open Container Laws –

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When I moved to Texas in the late 1970’s, everyone in the car could have an open container, even the driver. I thought you would get a ticket if you didn’t drink and drive in Texas. They didn’t sell beer and wine in grocery stores then. And you certainly couldn’t buy alcohol on a Sunday. Which I found quite odd, since weekends were made for Michelob, weren’t they? At least that’s what the ad said. An open container means anything with the seal cracked. And the open container laws have evolved immensely since the late 70’s. Several years passed before the law changed. The new law banned the driver from drinking, but passengers could still have an open container in the vehicle. Later, no one could be drinking in the car, whatsoever, and any open container could not be within reach of the driver. Current law prohibits the open container from being in the car at all. Any open container must be locked inside of a glove compartment or console, or locked in the trunk of your car. Or, if your vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, the open container must be secured behind the last seat. And make certain that it has been secured, because if it breaks, you may be what they call a crying drunk.
Back in the 70’s, we called an open beer in the car a road sodie. Although it’s illegal, every so often I see someone having a cold one on the way home from a long, hard day.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Open Container Laws – Comedy Defensive Driving

Arrive Alive –

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With the staggering numbers of DWI’s and loss of lives due to DWI’s in the U.S., it’s nice to know that there’s help out there. If you plan to drink away from home, just don’t drive. The plan is to arrive alive. If you cannot plan a ride home with a friend, cabs are always a good option. $25 or $50, as opposed to $26,000. in attorney fees alone, is not a bad deal. Not having killed anyone or killed yourself is not a bad deal as well. If you do a web search for them, you will find a plethora of services out there that will send out two drivers in one car to pick you up. One drives you home, while the other drives your car home. So, when you wake up in the morning, you’re in your nice, warm bed instead of a jail cell. And your car is in your driveway or parking lot, rather than the city impound (another expense you would acquire). It’s a beautiful thing. Whoever thought of that was genius.
A DWI is financially and emotionally devastating. It is a financial set-back for most. And, it will remain on your permanent record. Causing you to possibly lose your job and impossible to find another. Besides the attorney fees, DWI penalties also include hefty fines, jail time with real criminals, AA meetings with real alcoholics (and you’ll notice everyone brings their own “Starbucks” cup to those meetings…you KNOW there’s something in that cup besides coffee). You will likely have to do community service, and you will also receive a hefty surcharge for three years. So, just when you thought it was over, they keep reminding you of that stupid mistake you made by sending you a bill in the mail every month. And now your mailman and everyone knows your personal business. Your Mailman: “I’ll be your AA Sponsor.” You: How the heck did you know??”
So, think about the financial, legal, emotional and social ramifications of a DWI, before you leave the house, and plan ahead to arrange a ride so you can arrive alive.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Arrive Alive – Comedy Defensive Driving

Underage Drinking –

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When I moved to Texas in 1979, everyone in the car could have an open container…even the driver. I thought you’d get a citation if you didn’t drink and drive. We’ve totally evolved since those glory days (or, as some of my friends call them, the R.I.P. days). Eventually, the law changed and only passengers could have an open container (or a road sodie, as they were called). This way, the driver could merely hand their beverage over to a passenger before the officer approached the car…brilliant. I’m sure the laws in the state that I moved here from were no better. In fact, most bars never closed. Which also means they didn’t clean up. You needed a tetanus shot before you’d go into one of those places. And, as far as underage drinking went, the legal age to drink went from 21 down to 18. Then it went up to 19 for awhile and kind of hovered there. Then it eventually went back up to 21. Somewhere in between, I recall the drinking age being around 8 (maybe that was south of the border). People from European countries say they don’t have an underage drinking problem because they don’t “glamorize” drinking like we do here in the states. And their laws are strict and swift. So, would lowering the drinking age make it less attractive to teens? MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) says not. When states had lower legal drinking ages in America, the underage drinking problem was worse. Underage drunk drivers were involved in over twice as many fatal accidents.
A few months ago, there was a rumor going around on the interweb (that’s what my dad calls it) that the drinking age was going to be raised to 25. It was apparently just a myth. Kind of like celebrity deaths on the internet. That has to be super creepy to the celebrities themselves. 25 years of age is apparently when the frontal lobe completely develops. Better, more rational, adult decision making comes into play after 25 (hopefully). But not everyone matures at the same pace as others.
According to MADD, more than 25,000 lives have been saved in the U.S. because of the 21 minimum legal drinking age. They claim that the law continues to prevent tragedies and therefore decreases crashes by an estimated 16% and keeps young people safer from many other risks as well (such as alcohol poisoning, and aspiration).
Even after 21, it is encouraged to take a cab or Uber if you have consumed any alcohol. In fact, MADD has teamed up with Uber to encourage this. Uber’s revolutionary app connects users with safe, reliable rides at the touch of a button. Those are rides you can count on, whenever and wherever, so that people never have to get behind the wheel drunk.
After all, the easier it is to get a safe ride, the less likely adults are to drive after drinking.
Until next week….
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Underage Drinking – Comedy Defensive Driving

Drunk Drivers –

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Whether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! You may have noticed more police patrolling our streets since last weekend. Police have been initiating special law enforcement efforts during Saint Patrick’s Day week to keep drunk drivers off the road. This special intensive effort will run through tonight, March 17. But, be extra alert tomorrow morning on your commute for drunk drivers still on the road. Most states have been enforcing zero tolerance during this festive week. You don’t want your “luck of the Irish” to run out. And a DWI or vehicular manslaughter conviction could result in some lengthy jail time. Where you could find yourself as your cell mate’s Mary O’Reilly. Why do you think they call them cell mates?

This effective nationwide drunk driving crackdown includes high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and has been supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and others safe from harm and free of getting strapped with a permanent DWI conviction on your driving record.

  • Arrange a ride to and from your planned destination. A designated driver would be ideal.
  • Try to discourage friends from driving impaired. Offer them a lift if needed.

So, be safe this evening. And have a terrific Saint Patrick’s Day!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Drunk Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving

Consequences of Drinking and Driving –

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The rumor spread across the internet (or the innerweb, as my dad calls it) was apparently a hoax. Yes, it is only an urban legend that the drinking age, nationwide, in America is going to be raised to 25. Some say it’s not a bad idea and that, at the age of 21, a person is still not mature enough to handle the responsibility and consequences of drinking and driving. Minimum drinking ages in the U.S. are established on a state-by-state basis, not mandated across the nation by federal law, though if your state doesn’t have a minimum age limit of 21 the federal government will not allocate highway funds to that state… subsequently every state now has a minimum drinking age of 21.

It would be interesting, though, to see how it would play out. When I moved to Texas in 1979, the drinking age had been changed from 21 to 18. Eventually, it went up to 19 and stayed at that age for a short time and then went back up to 21. Somewhere in between, I’m sure the age was 8. Or, maybe that was in Mexico. I hear the drinking age there has gone up to 12. Just kidding, I know it’s 18. Also back in ’79, everyone in the car could have an open container, even the driver. I thought you’d get a ticket if you didn’t drink and drive. We’ve certainly evolved over the last 30 something years. So, when hearing this rumor, my first thought was that it’s all in the evolution process.

The consequences of underage drinking and driving will result in a DUI. This includes harsh fines, drivers license suspension and possibly adding an expensive car breathalyzer device. The driver will most likely have to attend drug/alcohol and driver’s education classes as well as to complete a month or more of community service. Another penalty is possible probation for up to four years.

Oh, and a surcharge for three years. That comes in the form of a bill which you will receive in the mail. So now everyone knows about your big mistake. Even your mailman, so don’t be surprised if he offers to be your AA sponsor.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Consequences of Drinking and Driving – Comedy Defensive Driving

The Proper Way To Tailgate –

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The Proper Way To Tailgate

Tailgate parties are upon us, which means football season is here and that means there is only one proper way to tailgate. Nothing against football, and don’t be mad at me, but I’m just not that into football. I grew up in a house full of women. My dad spent most of his time at work (a.k.a. the pub) where he could hang out with other guys and watch sports. He was hardly ever home. While all of the other moms in our neighborhood would be threatening their kids “You just wait until your father gets home.” My mom would be threatening us “IF your father EVER comes home…whatever!” They were mostly empty threats, because when he did come home, “toasted” he’d give us money. Well, he didn’t really give us the money…he’d pass out and we’d take it out of his wallet. I called it my college fund. And, my dad was so proud of me when I graduated from college, he framed my diploma and hung it above the mantel. My sister dropped out of school, so, just to be fair, he framed her DWI Defensive Driving Certificate and hung it next to my diploma (crooked, because he drinks).

Although I am not an experience tailgater, I have done a little research on the proper way to tailgate. The Iowa State Food Safety website says you should always be careful what foods you pack and that you store them at the proper temperature to ensure they do not get contaminated or develop bacteria. Here are a few tips from their website:

Follow these simple steps to ensure food safety:

  • Buy reasonable quantities
  • If food won’t be served soon, store it in a cooler immediately
  • When you get home, properly wrap and freeze deli meats that won’t be eaten within two to four days
  • REMEMBER most food poisoning bacteria can NOT be seen, smelled, or tasted
  • Bacteria multiply fastest between temperatures of 40 and 140; it’s what we call the Danger Zone
  • If in doubt, throw it out! Keep hot foods HOT (above 140° F) and cold foods COLD (40° F or below)

The 21st Century Insurance company website offers these safety tips as well on the proper way to tailgate:

  • If you’re grilling, make sure to bring a fire extinguisher
  • After your tailgate is finished, throw away all food that may spoil. Leftovers may be tempting after the game, but they may also be dangerous
  • If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure to cool the coals properly before putting them in a garbage container or back in your car (unless you want to use them as a discipline tool)
  • Make sure you can see properly and that there are no items in your way, such as bottles or cans before starting to drive
  • Secure your grill and other items in the back so nothing can fall out
  • If any guest have been drinking alcohol, make sure they don’t get behind the wheel

And, most of all, have fun. You won’t have another 3 day weekend until Columbus Day.

Until next week…Happy Labor Day!

Daun T
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

The Proper Way To Tailgate – Comedy Defensive Driving

Tie One On This Holiday Season

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I remember the holiday parties at our house when I was a kid.  Everyone was “tying one on” as my Dad would say.  The Urban Dictionary indicates that “to tie one on” means “to get drunk or start drinking before the hang over from last night has worn off. Thus having something to “tie onto”.  To tie one drinking session to another before the effects/consequences of the last have expired. Hmmm.  You know who else likes to tie one on??  MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers).  They started a Tying One on for Safety program in 1986, bringing more awareness to the problem of drinking and driving during the holidays. Red ribbons are placed in highly visible areas of vehicles, like the antenna, to remind everyone not to drink and drive. As more drivers place these red ribbons on their vehicles, this heightened attentiveness serves to curb the problem of drunk driving, especially during the holidays.  I noticed that the garbage truck had a big red ribbon tied on the front.  Same thing?  Probably not.  He was swerving, afterall.

Here are some helpful tips for safe holiday drinking. Remember, looks can be deceiving.  All three of these beverages pack the same punch. Whether you are having one ounce to one-and-a-half ounces of alcohol, like a shot of vodka in a mixed drink, or you’re having a 5 ounce glass of wine, or a 12 ounce beer, they all provide you with the same amount of alcohol.  Besides what you’re drinking, there are many other factors to figure in to the equation. Just a few of the other factors to figure in are your height, weight, physical condition, age, whether you are fatigued, whether you have food in your stomach, etc. And alcohol takes time to metabolize out of your system. Drinking coffee won’t speed up that time one bit.

Here’s what you can do to prevent yourself from getting in too deep!  Decide ahead of time how much you want to drink and stick to it. And plan ahead regarding your designated driver.

Another reason to watch what you drink – calories can add up. Maybe you can wear that same holiday dress next year!  At least if you wear the same outfit year after year, people will remember you!  And not just remember you as that girl who “Tied one on” .

Have a safe couple of holidays and we’ll catch up with you next week.

Daun Thompson


Sick Driving

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The holidays are here! Entire families will be getting together. My parents are preparing their 900 mile journey to my house for Thanksgiving. Now that my parents are both retired, their favorite topic of conversation is their funeral plans. So my sister and I already know what we’re in for. Last year, my Mother cornered me at the dinner table “Do you like that china? I’m leaving it to you when I’m gone.” That’s just awkward, isn’t it? I don’t know any other way to get her to stop, other than dishing it back at her. “I’m having a dinner party next weekend Mom, how are you feeling?”

While some of us prefer to fly due to time constraints…and time is money! Families like the Duggars will have no choice but to drive. And perhaps a bus…I mean with 19 kids (and counting)? Yikes! Or should I say “ouch”. Some people are down with the long distance trek. With the economy the way it is now, many people commute to work as if it’s a cross-country trip. And, on a daily basis. You may want to burn a candle for those people if you make it to holiday mass.

The holiday season get-togethers, rubbing elbows during travel and other close encounters will also spread the cheer of the cold and flu season. Be careful driving while sick. Cold medications can most certainly make you drowsy. And, in most states, you could be arrested for drowsy driving. In fact, it’s just as dangerous as drunk driving. Even over the counter cold medications such as DayQuil or NyQuil. You know, anything that actually comes with its own shotglass is a pretty good indication that it’s some potent stuff. By the way, I’ve created my own favorite holiday drink. I call it the Green Weenie. Ever heard of it? It’s NyQuil and hot dog water. By the way, mixing cold medications with your holiday cheer is even worse. Theraflu and Vodka? No! Although, some people swear that a snoot of whiskey helps to ease (or kill) the cold and flu virus. I bet they wish the guy at the liquor store would take their co-pay like the pharmacist does! Just remember to not drink and drive.

And that tissue box you have in the back window of the car may just come in handy afterall. Can’t reach it? Just slam on the brakes and hold out your hand. Voila’!  I’ll be back next week. Until then, practice responsible driving.

Daun Thompson

Don’t Drink & Die

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Happy Holidays and cheers to everyone! Now, I’m not anti-alcohol, as a matter of fact I love to have a couple of drinks….before I go to work and when I say work, I’m talking about when I’m performing at the comedy clubs!

But if you’re going to drink, you don’t have to drive! There are too many options, designated driver, taking keys away from a drunk (that’s always a fun time-so take up the keys before they start drinking), spend the night at wherever you are drinking, call a cab, call for a ride. Even AAA has a holiday program for safe rides. Or how about this one, drink at home…alone. Ok maybe not, that’s too depressing for the holidays. The point is, there are too many alternatives to drinking and driving. Over 17,000 people are killed in DUI related crashes every year in the U.S. Let’s make this holiday season the safest ever.

Write me with your comments and suggestions, I would love to hear them. Until next week, happy holidays and take care!

Danny Keaton