“I’m Not DUI. I Can Do Math and Hopscotch.” Hmmm.

california dui laws: hopscotch isn't an excuseNot long ago while on patrol, Officer Wong of the Sebastapol, California Police Services watched a driver run a red light. He stopped the driver and did a breath test, and found that the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to be just above the legal .08 limit.

The driver insisted he wasn’t DUI, though, for several reasons.

  1. He wasn’t falling down drunk.
  2. He could do hopscotch.
  3. He could do math equations.

In a lively Facebook post the Police Services noted that you don’t need to be falling down drunk to be DUI. There only needs to be evidence of impairment that convinces the officer that you shouldn’t be driving. “Driving … requires both the mind and body to be sharp. Please keep these things in mind before hurtling a two-ton hunk of metal down the road at high speeds.”

The entire incident belies the driver’s point. He might have been sober enough to do hopscotch, but he wasn’t sober enough to observe a red light, which makes him far too dangerous to be on the road. Alcohol impairs judgement – not just the kind of judgement that helps you tell whether you have enough time to cross a road, but also whether or not you should be driving in the first place. So the very stuff that makes you dangerous on the road also makes you more likely to be on it when you’re dangerous.

That’s the reason for DUI patrols and California DUI laws. It’s also the reason that California passed a law, going into effect in 2019, which will mandate ignition interlocks for Mr. Hopscotch and all DUI offenders in California. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Here’s the math equation that applies here:

Drinking + Driving = Disaster

Next time he should do the math before he takes his first drink.