Slide Into the Passenger Seat to Avoid DUI? Bad Call.

alcohol-impairs-judgmentAlcohol impairs judgment, along with other faculties you need to drive. Booze can mess up your ability to assess situations in a number of ways:

  • It can make you think you’re able to drive when you can’t.
  • It can make you estimate speeds and distances improperly.
  • It can make you prone to more risky moves.

In addition, it has another effect that police have noted from time to time:

  • It can make you take the local police for idiots.

These effects were present when a man was recently arrested in Bloomer, Wisconsin for OWI. He was spotted arguing with a passenger while stopped in a traffic lane. The passenger stormed out, and the driver, Lukas Knudson, proceeded to slide over to the passenger seat so that no one would think he had been driving drunk.

It was too late, however. The officer had witnessed the argument between driver and passenger. He arrested Knudson, who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .208, or more than twice the legal limit. Being in the passenger seat was ultimately of no help.

alcohol-impairs-judgmentSince this was Knudson’s 5th offense, the penalties will include jail, a very stiff fine and fees totaling around $2,500, and a 12-month ignition interlock requirement. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The interlock is a great idea because it’s the only technology that can actually defeat bad judgment. Anyone who drinks and finds that he or she experiences  #1 above will find that it’s impossible to get to numbers 2, 3 and 4, because the car simply won’t start.

If you intend to go out drinking, it’s important to make a plan beforehand to get home, whether it’s a designated driver or public transport.

And remember, the police aren’t dumb. The time to get into the passenger seat is before you start the drive home.