One of the very worst DUI accidents in recent history took place in the state of Arkansas. In some ways, this is one of the most memorable DUI accidents because of the higher than normal amount of publicity it received. Much of this attention was due to the relatively harsh sentence that was passed down by the judge following a guilty verdict for the person who caused this tragic accident. However, there are many more cases of DUI convictions that may not be as severe or newsworthy but still record the sufferings of countless numbers of innocent victims. DUI is a national plague.
A Young Man’s Life Was Ruined By His Decision to Drive Drunk
A young Arkansas man by the name of John David Coe Jr. recently received a total of 140 years in prison with virtually no chance of parole. He was only 26 when he was compelled to plead guilty to a total of six felonies. The charges included a single count of negligent homicide, one count of first-degree battery, two counts of aggravated assault, and two extra counts of aggravated assault on a family or household members. All of these charges stemmed from a drunk driving accident in which Coe, Jr. was the acknowledged culprit.
A Tragic Crash in Hope, Arkansas Ended With Catastrophic Consequences
Kathryn Nevil, her husband Steve, and their children Lauren and Will, were driving on the highway in Hope, Arkansas when their SUV was struck by Coe, who was later confirmed to be driving drunk. The family’s SUV swerved off of the highway into a heavily wooded area. It didn’t stop until it plowed straight into a tree. Kathryn Nevil was killed instantly at the scene. Her 12-year-old daughter, Lauren, was admitted to the hospital with brain injuries that were judged to be traumatic. Steve and Will Nevil were also admitted to the hospital with minor injuries.
Tragedies of This Kind Can Easily Be Prevented Through Education
While nothing can be done for Kathryn Nevil – or, indeed, John Coe, Jr. – there is plenty that people can do to get better educated on the horror that driving drunk can cause. There are plenty of resources on the web that you can turn to in order to learn firsthand how you can help to spread awareness about this important subject. Thousands of people have died over the course of the past decade, thanks to drivers who didn’t think it was a bad idea to get drunk behind the wheel of a car. This is one statistic that can be improved upon if more people are aware of the very real danger involved.
A Drunk Driving Conviction Can Easily Ruin a Person’s Life
It’s important to know that a drunk driving conviction can easily ruin, or at least seriously compromise, your own life as well as the lives of others around you. In the case of Coe, Jr., serving long years in prison will be augmented in a terrible way by the knowledge that his negligent actions led to the deaths of innocent people. In addition to serving many years behind bars, he was also hit with a massive $100,000 fine. While the consequences of Coe, Jr.’s actions were unusually tragic, many similar stories are reported all across the country each year.
It’s Important to Know the Facts About the Results of Drunk Driving
Were you aware of the fact that 10,839 people will die in drunk driving crashes this year? This averages out to a total of one life lost every 50 minutes. This is a hideous figure that is all the more tragic because it is so easily preventable. A call to a cab would have kept the drunk drivers in all of these crashes from making their fatal mistake. DUI statistics are so hard to read because they are a record of bad choices that could easily have been avoided by simply thinking of the possible consequences.
More Info About Arkansas DUI Statistics Can Be Found on the Web
You can use the power of the world wide web to discover more info about how to educate people on DUI, DWI, and other related matters. Sites like DUIwise exist for the purpose of providing useful statistics and testimonials that you can make use of to spread awareness of this topic. The better educated you are on this matter, the more likely you can make a difference. The sooner you help someone make the choice to never drive drunk, the sooner you can help save a life. This is one goal that is definitely worth striving for on a daily basis.
Dennis Hammond, a resident of Huntsville, Alabama was recently charged for the death of a pregnant woman after driving head-on into the car she was in. The accident took place on Jordan Lane on a Saturday afternoon, according to a police spokesperson. The victim, Danetria Rice, was taken to a local hospital where she later died. Police reported the infant she was carrying survived but was in critical condition. Hammond was driving south but ended up careening into the vehicle in the north bound lane in which Rice’s husband was driving. Rice and her 2-year-old daughter were his passengers. The tragedy was all too familiar. 31 percent of vehicular fatalities that take place in the U.S. are a result of drivers who test positive for alcohol.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is measured by the quantity of alcohol present in your blood at the site of an accident. In the state of Alabama, the criminal justice system is strict with those who have the following blood alcohol concentrations while they’re behind the wheel:
0.08% or more.
0.04% or more in a commercial vehicle.
0.02% or more, if you are younger than 21 years old.
Both the Alabama courts and the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) will play a role in making sure that if you’re intoxicated while navigating a vehicle, you’ll be duly punished. Not cooperating with police officers who attempt to administer a chemical test will make the situation that much worse because not complying with them is a violation of the Implied Consent laws every driver who has issued a license in the state of Alabama implicitly agrees to. There are numerous reasons why refusing to allow a police officer to give you a field sobriety test only makes the matter at hand worse. One is that your license can be suspended for up to a year. Another is that a lock can be placed on the ignition key of your vehicle. The only way you’ll be able to drive if this is the case, is if you first pass an on-the-spot breathalyzer test. Installation costs of the ignition technology that is necessary to monitor you is your expense. Your problems compound each time you’re caught operating a car, truck or motorcycle while under the influence:
1st offense: 90 days 2nd offense: 12 months 3rd offense: 3 years. 4th and subsequent offense: 5 years.
If you think that’s the extent of your problems, you’re mistaken. Your car will be impounded. While the penalties for each infraction may differ, your account for the offense of drunk driving will not be something that quickly or easily goes away. Getting back on the road if you’ve completed your sentence, can include the following:
A fee of $275 or more to reinstate your license that’s paid to the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
Proof that you’re financially responsible typically demonstrated with an SR22 form from your car insurer
Participation in a substance abuse counseling program
Taking a written and road test again
Of course, drivers arrested for DUI charges fare better than might be expected when they have professional legal representation. DUiwise is one such legal service that helps drivers who have the made the error of driving while intoxicated get charges against them dropped or reduced. Consultations with them are free and often arranged at DUIwise.com.
Alabama police arrested 1,071 people for DUIs in 2015. They arrested 893 in 2016. Huntsville is known for having a designated “driving while under the influence” unit that makes it its business to find drunk drivers that are out on state roads and arrest them. On holidays such as Memorial Day, they set up checkpoints in key locations where drivers are asked for their licenses so they can be run to make sure there are no violations on them. Drivers who smell of alcohol or indicate they’ve been drinking to the point that they’re dangerous to others will be closely screened for signs that they’ve drunk more than they’re legally supposed to while behind the wheel. Checkpoints are methodically located in areas such as those with a high concentration of bars or are near a sports arena.
Alabama has adequate state funding to pay overtime to officers who man checkpoints past normal work hours. The state has been aggressive at cracking down on DUI offenses. The number of drunk drivers on the road in 2016 is subsequently lower than it was in 2015. The Huntsville Police Department consistently ranks high as a U.S. city actively trying to get drunk drivers off the roads.
“But now she’s gone — like a flame on a candle that just went out,” Danetria rice-johnsons teenage sister told an Alabama reporter. “Now, we’ll never be able to make future memories. She’ll never be able to see her newborn’s face or spend Christmas with us. She’ll never see her daughter go to kindergarten.”
If only Dennis Hammond had been thwarted by the task force’s efforts, but he slipped through the cracks. It’s simply impossible to find and deter everyone who makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel and thinking they can drive with an unsafe level of alcohol in their blood.