Is "Sleepy Driving More Dangerous than Driving Drunk?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

If you listen to politicians and the media, you might think drunk drivers are the most serious menace on the roads today. However, a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals another under-recognized danger: drowsy drivers.  One in six fatal crashes involves a driver who falls asleep at the wheel. Part of a defense attorney's job is to protect their clients' civil rights. Given the hysteria around drunk driving -- and the lack of hysteria around the apparently far more common sleepy driving accidents -- one can be concerned about the disparity in how these threats on the road are treated under the law.

For the family and friends of people killed in car crashes, the loss of their loved one matters much more than the specific reason the driver of the other car was impaired. There may be many different ways to be distracted or impaired while driving, but all of them have the same dangers -- injuries, deaths, and property damage. Studies have shown drowsy drivers may pose the same danger as drunk drivers with a blood alcohol count of 0.10 percent, which is actually above the legal threshold of 0.08. Scientific research shows that texting drivers are even more dangerous than drivers who are drunk or high. Also study by AAA found that pets are the third most dangerous distraction for drivers, after talking on the phone and texting.

Why is it that, of the many kinds of impairments or distractions that can cause accidents on the roads, the only kind that is treated severely under the law is drunk driving? Many of the other kinds of distractions and impairments are not even taken seriously by the law. Instead of treating all dangerous driving equally, the law singles out drunk drivers for special penalties. Perhaps the real issue is social disapproval of drinking, not the level of danger posed by driving under the influence.

As irrational as it may be, it's unlikely that DUI penalties are going to be relaxed anytime soon. That's why it's important for anyone charged with drunk driving to immediately contact an experienced Forsyth County DUI attorney.  There's too much at stake in an DUI conviction to leave your fate up to chance. Even with a first DUI conviction, the penalties can include hundreds of dollars in fines and jail or probation. Compare that with the simple $150 fine that drivers would face if caught texting. 

Call our office immediately to discuss your options after you have been arrested and charged with any type of DUI offense.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard S. Lawson is passionate about intoxicated driving defense. Unlike some attorneys, Mr. Lawson devotes 100% of his legal practice to helping people stand up for their rights against DUI charges. For more than 20 years, Mr. Lawson has dutifully fought for his clients' freedom, resolving more 4,900 impaired driving cases during the course of his career. Today, Mr. Lawson has developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and continues to help clients by fighting to keep them out of jail.


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