Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Saturday, January 31, 2009

DUI: Driving Under the Influenza

Here is a note for drivers and DUI attorneys anywhere and everywhere. I recently stumbled upon a study which revealed that persons suffering from a simple cold can become more impaired than those under the influence of alcohol. As a matter of fact, the study says drivers with the flu impairs your abilities by as much as 11 %, the equivalent of downing a double shot of whiskey.

The English experiment put drivers with a variety of conditions, including PMT, stress, and headaches, through an approved hazard simulator test. Those suffering from colds and flu came off worst, with reaction times and alertness slashed compared to a healthy driver.

According to Lloyd’s, who commissioned the study, one in 10 road accidents in Great Britain during 2008 can be attributed to 'driver flu.' What's more, they are predicting a significant rise in such incidents over the next few months as cold and flu pandemics grip the nation.

The Brit survey revealed that nearly 40 per cent of all drivers do not hesitate to drive while suffering from the cold or flu, with over half, get that, over half, suggesting it has no affect at all on their driving ability. I would not be surprised if there was not a statistical corollary for Americans, would you?

In response to this, Lloyds TSB Insurance is warning drivers of the dangers of being unwell at the wheel, particularly when combined with medication, fatigue or a small amount of alcohol, which all have a significant impact on driving ability. There is not a lot to blog or blurb about this. It is common sense. Anyone who has ever been knocked on their ass by a Nyquil knows what I mean.
Last week, our community experienced yet another tragedy when an intoxicated parent with a horrible driving record crashed into a minivan and killed three children, leaving their parents alive and devastated.

Few criminal acts are as senseless as DUI; few as avoidable. If you are reading this, be always mindful of the fact that the law charges those who are impaired, whether it is from a lawful prescription or an excessive cocktail. Keep in mind that the life you save may be your own. And the best place to be with influenza is home in bed.

To view the accompanying video, please visit the following link:

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