Call a Cab

Winter has finally made an appearance here in Western New York.  Many work functions and social events have moved from December to January in order to avoid the craziness of the holiday season.  There are people who run outside in this kind of weather.  Subway Dude will be earning his drivers license soon, along with many of his friends.

These facts spurred me to share a little information with my fellow kay nouers.

New York Drunk Driving Fines and Penalties:

First NY DWI Offense

  • Jail-Maximum of 1 year
  • Mandatory Fine-From $500-$1000
  • License Revoked-6 month minimum

Passenger Under 16 in Vehicle

  • Class “E” Felony
  • Fine Up to $5000 and/or
  • Jail-Maximum of 4 Years

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Children look to the adults in their lives for guidance about drugs and alcohol.  Kids turn to parents for their primary source of advice.  They also watch those around them to see what is acceptable behavior. We know we are role models for our children.

How do you talk to your kids about drinking?  First, start early.  As most topics in parenting, sometimes parents need to get the conversation started. Open lines of communication between adults and children are key.  If you can talk about lots of topics, your child will feel comfortable coming to you with questions.

If you drink, talk to your kids about how you are responsible and drink in moderation.  Be honest with your children and try to answer any questions they have.  Explain why your opinions about drinking may have changed as you became an adult.

If you don’t drink, talk about your reasons why.  Share why people chose not to drink: alcoholism, religion, moral reasons, health reasons.

Know where your kids are and who they are with.  Make sure an adult is present.  Unsupervised children are more likely to experiment with all kinds of things.

Share your expectations with your children.  They should know what your stance is on underage drinking.  Your kids should always know they can call you to come and pick them up if they are in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation.  Choose a code so they can call without being embarrassed.  Something like, “I was calling to check on the dog.  He was sick and I was worried.” can work.  Then you know it’s time to pick up your child.

Talk about the facts about alcohol.  Tell you child what it does to your body when you have a drink.  Myths about hard alcohol vs beer or wine.  Underage drinking is illegal.  Drinking can be dangerous and can lead to dangerous situations.

Talk to your children everyday.  Listen to them.  Get a sense of their moods and behaviors.  Talk to them about any changes you notice.  Get to know their friends and their parents.

And for goodness sake, if you are going out yourself, have a designated driver, someone to call to come pick you up or call a cab.  Have a plan before you go out.  Once you are out it can be hard to know if you’ve had too much.  If you have a game plan before you start your evening, you will be more likely to follow through with wise decisions.

Next are a few statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).  The first one is bothering me.  “An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.”  Why?  Probably because they haven’t gotten caught.  People think they’ve gotten home safely before, they’ll be fine this time too.

Come on, people, call a cab.

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Here are some statistics from MADD:

  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.

    Centers for Disease Control. “Vital Signs: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults — United States, 2010.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 4, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6039a4.htm

  • This year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes – one every 50 minutes.

    (NHTSA, 2009) Full cite: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ?2008 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment ? Highlights? DOT 811 172. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811172.pdf

  • One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.

    (NHTSA, 2001; NHTSA FARS data) Full cite: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ?The Traffic Stop and You: Improving Communications between Citizens and Law Enforcement.? National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, March 2001, DOT HS 809 212. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/Traffic%20Stop%20&%20You%20HTML/TrafficStop_index.htm

  • One in three 8th graders drinks alcohol.

  • One in three will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.

    (NHTSA, 2001; NHTSA FARS data) Full cite: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ?The Traffic Stop and You: Improving Communications between Citizens and Law Enforcement.? National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, March 2001, DOT HS 809 212. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/Traffic%20Stop%20&%20You%20HTML/TrafficStop_index.htm.

  • Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash.

    (Blincoe, et al, 2002; Miller et al, 1998) Full cites: Blincoe, Lawrence, et al. ?The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000.? Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2002. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/economic/EconImpact2000/ and Miller, Ted, Diane Lestina, and Rebecca Spicer. ?Highway Crash Costs in the United States by Driver Age, Blood Alcohol Level, Victim Age, and Restraint Use,? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 30, no. 2 (1998): 137-150.

  • 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.

    (Peck, et al, 1995 and Beck et al, 1999) Full Cites: Peck, R.C., Wilson, R. J., and Sutton, L. 1995. ?Driver license strategies for controlling the persistent DUI offender, Strategies for Dealing with the intent Drinking Driver.? Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Circular No. 437. Washington, D.C. National Research Council: 48-49. and Beck, KH, et al. ?Effects of Ignition Interlock License Restrictions on Drivers with Multiple Alcohol Offenses: A Randomized Trial in Maryland.? American Journal of Public Health, 89 vol. 11 (1999): 1696-1700.

  • One in five teens binge drink. Only 1 in 100 parents believes his or her teen binge drinks.

    (Institute of Medicine, 2003) Full cite: Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O?Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.

  • Teen alcohol use kills about 6000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.

    (Hingson and Kenkel, 2003) Full cite: Hingson, Ralph and D. Kenkel. ?Social and Health Consequences of Underage Drinking.? In press. As quoted in Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O?Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.

  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those is alcohol related.

    (NHTSA, 2009) Full cite: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ?Traffic Safety Facts 2008: Young Drivers?. DOT 811 169. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811169.PDF

  • Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.

    (Hingson, 2001) Full cite: Hingson, Ralph, et al. ?Age of Drinking Onset, Driving After Drinking, and Involvement in Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes.? DOT HS 809 188. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, January 2001.

  • Drunk driving costs each adult in this country almost $500 per year.

    (Taylor, et al 2002) Full cite: Taylor, Dexter; Miller, Ted; and Cox, Kenya. ?Impaired Driving in the United States Cost Fact Sheets.? Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2002. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/alcohol/impaired_driving_pg2/US.htm

  • High school students who use alcohol or other substances are five times more likely to drop out of school or believe good grades are not important.

    (NIDA, 2008) Full cite: National Institute on Drug Abuse. ?Volume 1: Secondary School Students?, National Survey Results on Drug Use from The Monitoring the Future Study, 1975-1997. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, 1998.

  • Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash.

    (Blincoe, et al, 2002; Miller et al, 1998) Full cites: Blincoe, Lawrence, et al. ?The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000.? Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2002. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/economic/EconImpact2000/ and Miller, Ted, Diane Lestina, and Rebecca Spicer. ?Highway Crash Costs in the United States by Driver Age, Blood Alcohol Level, Victim Age, and Restraint Use,? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 30, no. 2 (1998): 137-150.

–Running Girl

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3 responses to this post.

  1. I am often on the roads very early in the morning. (Sometimes running, sometimes driving.) I assume everyone who is driving is drunk.

    Reply

  2. Excellent post! Thanks for listing all of this information!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tammy on January 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Powerful information! I am especially shocked about the 1 in 3 eighth graders drink alcohol. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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