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Risk Factors of Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol & Other Drugs…

Posted on 24 March 2007 by Monica Zech

Making Plans For Your Party? If Your Plans Include Alcoholic Beverages – Know The Risks!


First, the most important fact about alcohol is – it’s the most damaging substance you can consume for your body – and second, do you “really” need alcohol to have a good time? NO!But, if you think you do – please read on and know the facts and risks of alcohol…

Here are some important facts about alcohol that you may have missed – although the following are true, you’ll never find them written on the side of that booze bottle or can:

Health risks

  • FACT – Alcohol is a “drug”, it’s a depressant, and on the very first sip it’s in your blood system within 6 seconds going straight to the brain.
  • Depressants slow your body’s thinking and motor skills-your reaction time…two major things needed to be a safe driver.
  • Too much alcohol, or binge drinking is very toxic to the body, similar to over-dosing, causing blood poisoning – possible brain damage – possible death.
  • If you’re taking other drugs for health reasons and then drink an alcoholic beverage then you’re mixing drugs and this will magnify the effects of alcohol in your body. (Even cold medication)
Risks that can affect your future and that of others
    • Alcohol is the legal drug if you’re over 21yrs. of age, and, it’s very addictive – tolerance builds, your body craves more and more to satisfy it. That’s what addiction is all about!
    • The earlier you start drinking the earlier cases of heart and liver disease. Doctors are seeing earlier cases of heart attacks – especially if you’re a smoker too.

  • Alzheimer’s disease is now attributed in part to alcohol use.
  • Alcohol changes personality – leading to some cases of aggressive driving and road rage…also running red lights.
  • Alcohol causes drowsiness – fatigue – falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • It can affect sex drive…or you may forget to use protection.
  • More rapes, pregnancies and transmitted diseases occur while under the influence or drunk.
  • You may also forget while driving: to buckle up, you’ll tend to speed and your sense of direction, turning on your headlights at night etc…you can consider alcohol as “stupid juice”.
  • According to police – 85% of those arrested, are under the influence of alcohol at the time of their arrest.
  • Law enforcement consider “alcohol” the number one problem in society! -(from what I’ve seen, I agree.)

The list is endless…and the risks are too high and too many – are you willing to risk your life or someone elses, the loss of your job/income now – or future jobs – what are your priorities in life???

My family is my TOP priority – if I should ever get an emergency phone call for for help I know I’m ready. That I’ll be able to drive safe and alert to their rescue!

(Note: Please read read my bio section to see why this subject hits home.)

I’m always amazed how people/society feel they need alcohol to have a good time. The above risks do not sound like a good time to me. Professionally and personally I’ve seen too many lives destroyed…from relationships, marriages, jobs and all the crashes due to alcohol and other drugs – NO THANKS!!!

Now, how about the legal facts and costs of DUI….

You can make a better life-saving decision by carefully reading the following information…by Monica Zech

How much are “you” willing to risk?

What are all the risks when it comes to “drinking and driving”? If you’re caught drinking and driving, and you get arrested…

  • A DUI ticket alone can cost you $10,000 to $15,000 up, plus a suspended license.
  • Sitting in jail for 2 to 3 days and the loss of your vehicle for 3 days.
  • If caught driving with a suspended license, your vehicle can be taken for 30 days or possibly permanently! (And you’re still making the payments.)
If your plans include alcoholic beverages… know
the risks!
  • Insurance rates may double, or your current company may drop you…
  • A DUI ticket is considered a drug charge on your driving record for ten years, thus affecting or preventing current & future careers – resulting in the loss of income, house, maybe even your family.
  • A DUI on your driving record can affect your credit rating too – preventing some loans, such as “home” and “car” loans.
  • Possible collision, property damage, injuries or worse
  • Injury? From a scratch or whip-lash to a possible brain injury, loss of limb(s), paralysis or disfigurement…to you – or someone else. Recent statistics show more and more “parents” are injuring and killing their own children while driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Possible death or deaths…for you, your family and/or friend(s)…someone innocent.

Make the necessary plans “before” you begin drinking – designate a driver, or arrange for a cab, shuttle or limo. Simple planning that can prevent a tragedy.

Need a designated driver? Plan ahead to have a designated driver – spouses can take turns, friends etc – a designated driver is someone who does the driving “SOBER”…someone who has not consumed “any amount” of alcohol…not the least amount! But if you can’t find a designated driver – call a friend, a cab, shuttle bus or…

Reserve a cab or call a friend for a safe ride home.

In 2003 stats showed 40 percent of traffic deaths, or 17, 401, were people killed in a DUI related crash, essentially unchanged from 2002.

DUI Fatal Crashes…

Rocky Mountain News

Bride Killed By DUI Driver On Her Wedding Day
June 4, 2005

By Jolie Breeden, Rocky Mountain News
Updated – June 30, 2005

A bride-to-be who was killed in a car crash on her wedding day wasn’t at fault, Aurora police said Wednesday.

Police allege that a driver with a previous DUI conviction caused the June 4 wreck while driving drunk and speeding.

Arlene Gavrilis, 25, of Highlands Ranch, was making a legal turn through the intersection at South Nucla Street and East Hampden Avenue when her car was hit by a silver Dodge pickup driven by Kevin Tanner Kraft, 27, of Aurora, police spokesman Marcus Dudley said.

Gavrilis was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

Kraft was driving far above the speed limit and his blood alcohol content was “well in excess” of the legal limit of 0.08 percent when he broadsided Gavrilis’ Volkswagen Beetle, Dudley said.

An autopsy found that Gavrilis had no alcohol in her system, he said.

Police had been investigating the possibility that both drivers were under the influence and that Gavrilis had made an unsafe U-turn. But a reconstruction of the accident cleared Gavrilis of wrongdoing.

“She is exonerated,” Dudley said.

Police will recommend that charges of vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving be filed against Kraft early next week.

Kraft has a history of criminal offenses, including a DUI conviction in 2003, according to court records. He also was cited for driving with a suspended license in 1999. That charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Kraft did not return calls for comment.

The Gavrilis family called the accident “an appalling, meaningless tragedy,” in a written statement released Wednesday.

“We also feel very strongly that Arlene’s death on her wedding day could have been avoided if stricter laws and more severe penalties existed for first-time alcohol-related driving offenders,” they wrote.

Rocky Mountain News


Mother Of Four Dies In Alleged Drunk Driving Accident – Man Believed Responsible Receives Only Minor Injuries

POSTED: 8:13 AM PST January 1, 2004

LOS ANGELES — A 39-year-old woman traveling on the southbound San Gabriel River (605) Freeway with her four children was killed Thursday when a drunk driver smashed into their car head-on, California Highway Patrol said.

Gaspar Angulo, 21, of La Puente, was driving northbound against traffic on the southbound side of the 605 in the carpool lane at freeway speed in a Honda Accord when he struck the family in their Ford Focus near Rose Hills Road about 2:50 a.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Joe Zizi.

Minutes earlier in another accident, Angulo crashed his car into another driver in a Toyota SUV. The driver was a 48-year-old woman from Baldwin Park who suffered minor injuries. Angulo also hit the center divider at Whittier Boulevard.

In the second accident, the mother, whose name was not released, was killed in the crash, Zizi said.

Her oldest son, George Amaya, in his 20s, was hospitalized with moderate injuries, he said.

Three other children — a 15-year-old girl, a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year- old girl — were hospitalized with minor to moderate injuries, Zizi said.

Angulo suffered minor cuts to his forehead, the officer said. He was arrested and faces charges of felony DUI, gross vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run, he said.

The man appeared to be intoxicated and his blood/alcohol content tested higher than the legal limit of .08, Zizi said.

It was not immediately known where Angulo entered the freeway and CHP officers were investigating reports that he had collided with the center divider further south, Zizi said.


Then, shortly before the New Year in 2003 – An SDSU Student Driving DUI, Kills A CHP Officer…

Student Held In CHP Officer’s Death

POSTED: 8:49 PM PST December 31, 2003

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego State student is being held in connection with the death of a California Highway Patrol officer.

Police said 20-year-old Carley Crystal lost control of her SUV and hit a parked patrol car on Highway 395 near Lone Pine in Inyo County Tuesday morning.

Crystal is being investigated for drunken driving.

CHP Officer Paul Pino died while being transported to a local hospital. He was a 23-year veteran of the force.


*So a young student planning a future kills someone with a career and family…the tragedies continue.

Just putting names and faces to those stats…so you can make an informed decision!

Update, as of 5/5/07 – a message sent to me from the daughter of this officer killed:


I just wanted to say thank you for writing the article. That was my dad and our world fell apart on that day. I wish people only knew what EXACTLY they are doing when they decide that getting intoxicated is a good idea. Anyway thanks, its one thing I wish I could see more of, and that maybe more people could take a step back and look at reality.


My comment: “Thank you for writing and I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ll continue to remind the public through my website and lectures of that tragedies caused by those who choose to drive impaired. My thoughts & prayers are with you and your family” – Monica Zech


Note: When speaking to parents, I ask them if family is number one on their list of priorities – usually everyone raises their hand. Followed by – “Do you also consume alcohol?” I then point out, if you drink and then drive your family home – you’ve made alcohol more important than the safety of your family. You’re risking their lives! Just because you’ve made it home safely in the past – driving then home in this condition – doesn’t mean you’ll get lucky again. The next article we’ll give you a SAD example of a risk taken….

May 6, 2007

As A Parent – Any Amount of Alcohol Should Be Considered Dangerous Behind The Wheel…

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — A 6-year-old boy was killed after being ejected from a sport utility vehicle on Interstate 15 in Escondido, authorities said Sunday.

The boy is identified as Brian Mendoza, of Fallbrook, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

Brian was in the rear passenger seat when the unidentified driver lost control of the SUV on the northbound I-15 Saturday, just north of El Norte Parkway, a medical investigator said.

The boy was ejected from the SUV and pronounced dead at the scene at 7:01 p.m., the M.E.’s Office said.

According to a local television station, the driver was under the influence and is facing vehicular manslaughter charges, but a California Highway Patrol media officer was not available for comment.

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