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Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2007



DUI Issues hudson on 28 Feb 2007

DUI Effects more than Car Insurance

Recently I wrote an article discussing the effects of a DUI on disability and life insurance not just Automobile insurance. Read the full article on DUI Insurance issues.

DUI Issues hudson on 19 Feb 2007

Rental Car Companies do Background Checks

Many people charged with DUI find themselves needing to rent cars either while the case is being fought or after losing their case. Whether the rental is for business or pleasure it is not uncommon for the major car rental companies to run a background check on your driver’s license prior to releasing the keys to you.

Alamo, Budget, Avis, Dollar and Hertz run licenses at least part of the time so renting with these companies can result in denial of a rental car. I have read that Enterprise only inspects driver’s licenses to determine if they are valid and does not run them through the state driver’s license records prior to renting a vehicle.

Some rental companies may deny you a car for DUI conviction, accidents, moving violations or if they determine that your home state has suspended your privilege.

California and Pennsylvania are two states that so not permit rental car companies to run “background” checks on driver’s prior to renting vehicles.

For additional information read: http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/06/04/travel/04prac.html

Uncategorized hudson on 14 Feb 2007

How To Lie With Statistics, Part 1

In an on-going effort to highlight the statistical ineptitude that drives MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) and other groups leading the charge to enact legislation curtailing our civil liberties, I present part 1 of my series, “how to lie with statistics.” These groups are leading the fight for legislation that will, at some point in the not to distant future, allow law enforcement to stop, at random, any citizen driving, for any reason. Remove these otherwise law abiding citizens from their car, force them to blow into some sort of alcohol measuring device before being allowed to continue on their way. It may seem drastic but that’s where we are heading, the “war” on DUI has resulted in the suspension of many of our basic civil rights and Constitutional protections and it seems that the proponents of “tougher” drunk driving laws won’t stop until there are no constitutional protections for everyday drivers. While is would be wrong for me to say I favor drunk driving (and, for the record, I do not), it is safe to say that I do not support MADD’s methods. However, in the battle that has thus far taken place, it seems that anyone standing in the way, or arguing against the mad mothers, must therefore support drunk driving.

In an article written recently, Ron De Young, brilliantly analyzed the statistics cited by MADD and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to reach the conclusion that we are actually safer drink and drive and not wear our safety belts than we are to be sober and seat belted into our cars. While this proposition may seem ludicrous, the author actually took the statistics cited by MADD and NHTSA to perpetuate their war on our civil liberties, and turned them into a statistical argument that we are actually safer when we are drunk driving. That simple fact being a corollary of the statistic that 61% of all traffic fatalities occur in accidents with sober people. Mr. De Young goes on to pick apart the actual statistics, challenging the fact that someone in every alcohol related fatal accident must have a blood alcohol concentration of at least .01 (the legal limit in every state is .08, with few exceptions) and doesn’t necessarily require that the driver in any alcohol related fatality be the one with the alcohol measurement. Further, at least 12% of the “fatal accidents” involve drunken bicyclists or pedestrians (in other words, sober drivers hit drunk non-motorists).

The purpose of this series of articles is not to promote drunk driving but to try to be a sober voice in the on-going hysteria surrounding drunk driving and the efforts of some groups to use statistical analysis to spread their message and impact legislation that erodes the civil liberties we all hold dear… or at least our Founding Fathers did.

DUI Issues hudson on 10 Feb 2007

DUI the $10,000 Ride Home

For years I have told my friends and family that it is never cheaper to drive home if you feel that you may be under the influence of alcohol. An article written recently confirms that conclusion that a plain-old, vanilla, dui charge will cost an average of $10,000. This is a first offense dui without property damage or an injured person. The costs associated with this charge range from the towing and vehicle storage fees, costs of conviction, insurance and lawyer fees. Of course a good lawyer may be able to save some of these costs but a “good” lawyer is also expensive.

The real expense however is under-estimated by the average citizen. A DUI or OWI arrest is an embarrassing event. If the citizen is later convicted it may impact their employment either through back ground checks, inability to travel, drive, rent cars, security clearances or possibly even State or Government licenses. Not to mention the time off from work to attend court, jail, alcohol classes and other court ordered aspects of the sentence. Further, in many States the charge will remain on the citizen’s driver’s license record for years, in California it remains on the printout for ten years (meaning that a potential employer will see it, also your insurance company).

Unfortunately for many people a DUI can be a devastating event, resulting in the loss of self esteem and integrity within their community. They may have been aware that they were breaking the law at the time they were arrested. Many people charged with DUI are at or around .08, they may have been drinking in compliance with the government suggested limits but had their best efforts sabotaged by a heavy handed bartender or the failure to know that a serving of wine is 4 ounces, or that a pint isn’t a serving of beer.

If you have a question, err on the safe side, take a cab or call for a ride, no matter how much it cost, it is still cheaper than a DUI.

Uncategorized hudson on 05 Feb 2007

Cell Phone Use = .08

Toward the end of last year, Time magazine published an article regarding people who use cell phones while driving. The analysis they presented supported the conclusion that whether the phone was hand-held or hands free it was just as distracting. In fact the article concluded that using a cellular telephone while driving was as distracting as driving with about a .08 blood alcohol concentration. A .08 blood alcohol concentration would be in violation of the DUI statutes in every state in the United States, and subject the individual to arrest and prosecution for DUI.

In driving simulations drivers participating in telephone conversations had reduced reaction times and slower responses to situations requiring braking than drivers who were not involved in telephone conversations. Statistics from non-simulated driving (real life) indicate that talking on the telephone may rival drowsy driving as a major cause of automobile accidents.