We all know that drinking and driving can get you a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge, but it can also be deadly. And try and sleep it off in your car? That can get you DWI charge as well because it’s illegal for people to have “actual physical control” of a vehicle while they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In other words, if you’re sitting in your car drunk, you can get a DWI, even if the vehicle isn’t moving. And, if you’re sleeping in the car because you’ve had one too many drinks and the keys are anywhere near you, you can get a DWI charge.
So, what’s the next best thing? Take an Uber or Lyft and if you don’t have the ability to do that, what do you do? This is where a lot of people think to themselves, “Well, I’ll just walk home. It’s safer than drinking and driving!” but is drunk walking as safe as you think?
Drunken Walkers & Pedestrian Accidents
As personal injury attorneys, we pay close attention to statistics, especially when it comes to injuries. We ran across an article published by PBS News Hour on pedestrian deaths spiking nationwide, which were fueled by people walking in public while they were under the influence of alcohol.
Austin Loan was a bouncer who checked IDs at a restaurant named Hawthorne, which boasted five bar areas and DJs on the weekends. Hawthorn told PBS that he’s seen drunk people wandering into the street around 3 or 3 AM like zombies. “When you get drunk, you think you can rule the world. You may not be paying attention to anything else,” said Hawthorne. Drunk walking can be deadly, according to PBS, and we have to agree.
“Whether they’re emptying out of bars, going home from football watch parties, or trying to get across the highway, drunken walkers are dying in traffic crashes nationwide at alarming numbers,” Jenni Bergal wrote for PBS.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, one-third of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had a blood alcohol content that was over the legal limit, which is .08 percent. That’s a lot of pedestrian fatalities due to drinking and walking.
When people are drunk, it affects their judgement, reasoning, coordination, and cognitive thinking skills. They can stumble into the road in front of an oncoming vehicle, engage in risky behavior, or cross the road in the middle of the block without thinking if drivers can see them.
Do you need to file a personal injury claim due to a car or pedestrian accident? If so, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to get started.