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The Legal BACL –

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Do you know what the legal BACL (blood-alcohol content level) is for driving while intoxicated? It is .08. Not to be confused with .08 cents (which is 50 cent’s younger brother). I was thinking, if Lincoln was a rapper (just go with me here), what would his rapper name have been? Five cent? Maybe Weird Beard or Jebediah? If I were a gansta rapper, my stage name would be Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (now that I’m older and creaky).
It is illegal to drive at a .08 BAC or higher in all 50 states. That means .08 milliliters of alcohol to 100 milliliters of blood. It is unclear to most people how many drinks it takes to get you to.08 because that varies greatly depending on many factors. Such as your gender, your weight and height, your age, your metabolism, what kind of physical condition you’re in, how much time passes between drinks, and how much you’ve eaten. If you’re on medication (prescribed or non-prescribed) adds to the factor as well. So, basically everyone is different. You can’t put everyone into the same category. Some people also don’t filter alcohol through their liver like most or may have a smaller liver than most. Sometimes it’s just genetic.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a .08 is roughly equivalent to 4 drinks for a 180 pound male. For a 140 pound female, only 2 drinks could put her at a .07. 3 drinks would raise her blood-alcohol to .10. While blood-alcohol levels do decrease over time, it’s typically by only about .015 an hour. So a person who is at a .08 would likely need 6 hours to completely sober up.
One drink is defined as a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine, or a 1 to 1.5 oz shot glass of 80-proof liquor. A 12 oz. beer would mean an average size bottle of clear, domestic beer. Not a dark beer, stout, IPA, etc. Many imported beers are stronger in alcohol content. That’s why the English drive on the wrong side of the road. Some wines are stronger than others as well. Read the label’s alcohol content. And liquor would not include something like Bacardi 151 (which is 151 proof), or Everclear Grain Alcohol, which is 190 proof (yikes!).
But even if a driver is below a .08, studies show driving skills are significantly impaired at a .04 level (which is the current legal limit for anyone with a CDL (Commercial Driver License). That would be just 2 drinks for the average male, and 1.5 drinks for the average female. It’s also important to remember drivers can be arrested for a DUI, even if they test below a .08.
So, this holiday season (and always), just don’t drink and drive. If you think about it, taking a cab or Uber or Lyft at $25-$55 would be a lot less expensive than fines, attorney fees, jail time, etc.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
The Legal BACL – 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

No Refusal Weekend –

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It’s great for all of us that July 4th is on Saturday this year, but not so good for the police. Most states have a No Refusal Weekend policy. This policy will be in effect through July 7th, where law allows police officers to take blood samples from suspected drunk drivers. Police will focus DWI patrols in high-risk locations (i.e. parks, lakes and my family reunion). Individuals arrested for DWI who refuse to take a breath or blood test face having their blood drawn once officers seek a search warrant from a judge.
I always go to my home town in Illinois for the 4th. Rumors are, small towns are said to be where you’ll find most of the meth labs. This is likely true in my home town. One year, the Mayor had given some guy money to drive to Indiana to buy fireworks for the city’s 4th of July celebration. He took the money and never returned. And, as far as drinking goes, if you’ve ever been to Illinois, it’s just nothing but cornfields and liquor stores (and liquor made out of corn).
In Texas alone, more than 1,000 people were killed by drunk drivers last year. Most of those crashes occurred during a holiday. But July 4th is said to be the worst holiday for drunk driving since people are likely to have been drinking all day or maybe even for several days, rather than say, New Years Eve where someone may just be drinking close to midnight. So, this 4th of July weekend, not only can the driver be arrested, but the passengers as well. And don’t forget about the open container fine which starts at a whopping $500 (that’d buy a lot of Jack Daniels). And having children in the car when you get a DWI is an automatic felony, which is jail time. The police will take you to the pokey and Child Protective Services will take your kids away as well. Yes, it’s true that CPS will babysit…for FREE…for YEARS!
So, for your sake and the sake of everyone else, don’t risk getting a DWI conviction! Play it safe by remembering a few simple tips.
Just Don’t drink and drive.
• Plan ahead and designate a driver.
• Contact
• Call a cab or a sober friend.
• Spend the night where you are, if possible.
Police are urging everyone to be safe during the July 4th holiday. And, if you plan to drink, please plan ahead by arranging to have a designated driver bring you and your family home or arrange for a taxi to pick you up.
Until next week…Have a safe and fun holiday!
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
No Refusal Weekend – Comedy Defensive Driving School

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

Amber Waves of Grain and Hops

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Katherine Lee Bates was a poet and literature professor. She wrote the verses that became known as “America The Beautiful.” One memorable line “Amber Waves of Grain” was inspired by her train journey across the midwest, my original stomping ground. This poem was paired with a hymn to commemorate the Fourth of July. I learned this while visiting the midwest last week. This is a place where you become totally dependent upon your GPS, if you get a signal at all. Cornfields on the left…soybeans on the right…where the heck am I? I could be anywhere. No discernible landmarks here in “Anywhere, U.S.A.” Another thing I learned on that trip is that the speed limit is 55 mph on most interstates that I traveled. Of course, just like anywhere else, there are no speed limit signs when you enter the interstate. Not until you’ve been traveling on it for three or so miles. I’m surprised I didn’t see more state troopers. But there are signs when you enter the interstate that inform you that the legal blood alcohol content level is .08, the same as in my state. Not surprising since this is the land of cornfields and liquor stores…and liquor made out of corn. Nearly everyone I spoke to on this trip mentioned their own DUI story. One even showed me their paper driving permit they were given when their license was revoked. Ironically, it had a ring stain on it where they had used it for a beer coaster. I wondered, had they learned their lesson? Was one conviction enough? In my state, Texas, it’s a three strikes policy. The first two convictions are a misdemeanor and the third is an automatic felony. Yes, we have evolved since the days when the offender wouldn’t go to jail until they took out a family. Now, they don’t let it get that far. And, with the Fourth of July holiday, there was sure to be many people celebrating all day long…and then hop in the car and drive home from that celebration. Again, I’m surprised I didn’t see more state troopers. I must admit, it was nice visiting my old home town. The beauty of it all was invigorating. And spending time with my family at our annual get together was more fun than I could handle. I did notice that everyone brought two coolers with them to the picnic. A large one containing their beer and a smaller one containing their back up liver. All-in-all, it was a great holiday and a beautiful fireworks display. Last year’s celebration didn’t go nearly as well. Our town’s Mayor had given someone money to buy fireworks for the city’s fireworks show and the guy never came back. This year, I hope everyone made it home safely after the celebration. A celebration of amber waves of grain and hops.

Until next week…cheers!

Daun Thompson


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Most people believe that New Year’s Eve is likely the holiday where the most DWI arrests occur. Not true…that is just one evening. Most arrests actually occur at my family reunions. My Mother is the eldest of ten sisters. Every one of them, with the exception of my Mom are all mean, drinking bar-fighting women. And, each of them have a minimum of three daughters. Our family reunion is just one giant estrogen festival. This July will be what we are calling Estro-fest 2012. Because of the fighting, instead of a band, we hire a medic. I wish this all were made-up, but it’s all so true.
Most DWI arrests occur during long holiday weekends such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Most states issue what they call a “No Refusal Weekend.” Police then step up their efforts to get drunken drivers off the streets. Here, in Texas, by noon on Memorial Day, the city of Austin had made over 68 DWI arrests, including 20 Sunday night. Why? Because we do everything big in Texas, right?
During “No Refusal,” any driver pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving must submit to a breath test or get a court-ordered blood draw. In Texas, No Refusal Weekend continues through 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The point they are trying to get across is, if you are enjoying a few cold ones, stay away from the wheel.
I think most people don’t want to leave their car in a parking lot of a restaurant or club while they find an alternate ride home because it may be vandalized, stolen, broken into or towed. So they choose to drive it home and end up in jail. Even if you feel like you are okay to drive, the officer that pulls you over may not think so, and it is up to their discretion whether or not they think they need to take you in. In Texas, if a police officer thinks that you may be so tipsy or impaired, even if you blow under the legal limit, they will likely still take you to jail. If, under the circumstances, they did let you go (which would be the luckiest day of your entire life) and you killed someone or injured someone, that police officer and the police department they work for could be sued by the person(s) you injured or their family if you killed that person. So, for their own liability, they will likely take you to jail. Where you can hang out with real criminals. Not everyone sitting in jail is intentionally a bad person, sometimes it’s just someone that made a thoughtless mistake. A mistake which will lessen your quality of life. But, if you like to read, I hear they have lots of books and magazines. And, if you like bologna, then that’s the place for you. If you did have to go to jail in Texas, I hear Highland Park is the place you’d want to go. Their jail looks like it’s right out of Giverny, France. And I hear they cater in lunch from a little family owned restaurant across the street from SMU campus. It’s kind of like a bed and breakfast…only with stainless steel beds.
With another long weekend coming in July, follow these useful tips. If you decide to drink any alcohol, line up a designated driver. Or, there are several services you can likely call that will be your designated driver, such as a taxi or a wingman service.

Until next week…Don’t risk it. A DWI is financially and emotionally devastating. It’s a real set-back…

Daun Thompson

Holiday Parties and Drunk Driving…Scarry!

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Today is Halloween. And, with all of those little goblins and witches out there, not to mention the ones in the Amy Winehouse Rehab costumes, we want to be on our best behavior when driving through neighborhoods.
It’s bad enough when you’re not paying attention in an area swarming with pedestrians.  But drinking on top of it could be really bad news.
And, even if you are super careful and don’t flatten a kid, you could still get a trick (dwi) and a treat (being put in a cell with a girly-looking guy named Bubba). Your first offense for driving while intoxicated, at least here in Texas, is a $2,000 fine (by the way, that’s approximately 1550 Snickers bars) and possibly up to 180 days in jail (with your new girlfriend, Bubba, who happens to love Snickers bars). Plus you’ll have one great costume to wear (perhaps in a shocking pumpkin orange or in a nice chain-gang black and white stripe). You’ll definitely have to spend at least 3 days in jail (just enough time for them to tailor your costume to fit). You could lose your drivers license for up to a year (and get it back just in time for Halloween, 2012). I think there’s a special costume for losers who don’t have a driver license…it’s called the forever single costume. And, just to seal the deal, you’ll have to pay a $1,000 annual surcharge for the next three years. You only think it’s over. But they keep reminding you of the terrible mistake you made by sending you a bill monthly or quarterly until you can no longer afford gas or booze (great tactic). And providing alcohol to minors is a whopping $4,000. So don’t even think about it. As they always say to me at Neiman-Marcus… “You can’t afford it.” helps people assess their drinking patterns to see if alcohol is likely to be harming their health. And, no, they don’t share your information with Johnny Law and set you up. Your information is private. They do give you the option to share the website with someone you know who might benefit from the site, though. Do this, and you may just get your butt kicked by your drunken friend.  But it’s a cool website. Check it out just for fun.

Until next week…stay safe.

Daun Thompson

The police are coming to get you!!!

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The police pulling people over on simple traffic stops and robbing their money, sounds like something you would hear about in North Korea, Libya or some third world country but it’s not, it’s happening right here in the United States of America!I wish there was a clever little joke I could throw in there or a witty anecdote about the subject but I can’t, this is horrid!!How can something like this happen??!!!

I know some conservative Republicans, religious fanatics or optimists would say “a few bad apples spoil the bunch.”Bullshit, most cops are crooks and they are worse than the criminals they take to jail, that’s right I said it!

Thank you, MSNBC network, for airing the episode of cops in Florida and Louisiana, pulling drivers over, going through their cars, not finding anything illegal, except for minorities having “too much money” (in some cases $1,200 cash) and seizing that money based on……get ready for this,….the officer thinks it was used in a drug purchase!That’s right, all the officer had to say was “I believe the money was used in a drug transaction.”No arrest, no charges brought up on the drivers, just nothing short of the cops robbing people, it was disturbing!Remember when the cops portrayed on TV were lovable, funny characters like Barney Fife or Sheriff Rosco Train?Now its more like Dirty Harry and sure cops have to put up with a lot crap (for lack of a censored word) from a lot ofpeople just because they are doing their job, which is law “enforcement” not law “abovement”…I think I just invented a new word.

Here a few tips when being pulled over by the fuzz:

  1. Pull over to safe area, like the right hand side of the highway, far off to the side as possible, without running over any mailboxes.
  2. Keep your hands on the steering wheel, DO NOT REACH IN THE GLOVE BOX, YOUR PURSE OR YOUR WIFE’S PURSE!
  3. Be polite and do not argue with the coppers.Remember Rodney King????That whole beating started with Rodney arguing with the pol-ece, then escalated from there.
  4. Never admit that you were speeding (unless you were) and remember to not let the cops intimidate you, it’s your right to refuse consent to a search, unless they have probable cause or they smell drug smoke or you look like Cheech and Chong.

The attached video is another guide on what to do if you get pulled over and for some of you, I’m sure that won’t be long.

The Right Way!

Join me again next week and until then….

Take care and be safe-

Danny Keaton

Happy Holiday Rush

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As we start our once a year ritual of the holiday season, oh wait a minute, it actually started over a month ago according to the commercials on tv and that holiday music I heard on the radio.  

The holidays are a time for getting together with friends and family and hopfully a time for remembering our blessings.  But we all know how stressful the holidays can be and how we can take that out on the other drivers on the road with us.  Not only do we still have the everyday responsibilities of going to work, picking up kids from school and making appointments, but now throw in holiday shopping, going from one mall to another then to Wal-Mart, going to grandma’s house for dinner and hoping that “Drunk Uncle Ned’ doesn’t show up.  It’s enough to spark road rage with one honk of the horn or being cut-off on the freeway!

When you are on the road please be kind to your fellow drivers.  If the traffic is backed up let someone else in and if someone lets you in, give them a friendly “thank you” wave, with all five fingers!  Give yourself plenty of time for your shopping, try not to be in a rush, I know, easier said than done.  Let’s make this the best holiday season ever with no road rage!!  Together we can make it happen.  See you next week.

Happy Thanksgiving!!-

Danny Keaton