Minnesota Mother Arrested for Drunk Driving with 5 Children in Car

arrested-for-drunk-drivingCall this the latest entry in the Bad Decisions sweepstakes. A mother of 10 was arrested for drunk driving after hitting a guard rail on a road in Rochester, Minnesota.

  • Bad decision 1: driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .17, more than twice the legal limit.
  • Bad decision 2: driving drunk with five of her children in the car with her, all under the age of 10.

It’s an astonishing example of parental negligence – recklessness, really – but also an illustration of the effect of alcohol on one’s ability to make good decisions.

How Alcohol Dumbs Down the Decision Process

A few years back researchers at the University of Missouri studied the nature of alcohol’s effect on decision making.  Does a person really not know he or she is much more likely to get into a crash? Do drunk drivers really not understand that they can’t control their vehicles well enough to be safe?

The study indicated that drunk drivers do know they’re risking their lives and the lives of others – but they don’t care. When driving drunk you’re aware you’re making a mistake. But you don’t care as much about that mistake as you would if you were sober.

At its worst, this lack of care leads to disaster. In fact, some 10,000 people each year die just because the alarm didn’t go off after a few drinks – the alarm that should have said not to drink and drive.

That is why, for those arrested for drunk driving repeatedly, another alarm is used in its place. An ignition interlock uses breathalyzer technology to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The brain is a mystery still, but ignition interlock technology is proven, which is why every state has some kind of ignition interlock program, and 30 states mandate the devices for all drunk driving offenders. Lives are too precious to risk on bad decisions. If a person isn’t up to making that decision, then the interlock is the best substitute we have.