Saturday, December 31, 2011

Don't Drink And Walk

Don't Drink And Walk

You would think that I would be advising you to not drink and drive this weekend. Well, that too. But did you know that you're eight times more likely to die walking drunk than you are driving drunk. It's strange, I know, but oddly enough true.

Add in that January 1st is the deadliest day for pedestrians. And of those deaths, 58% of those people who died were drunk.

Let's take into account that in 2009, 34,000 people died in traffic accidents. Half of them were drivers and 41% of those were drunk. Now consider that in that year 4,000 pedestrians were killed and 35% of them were drunk. Thanks to Freakonomics for this stuff:

In the 2009 book “Super Freakonomics,” authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner argued it was more dangerous to walk home drunk than drive home drunk — although they don’t recommend doing either.

Yes, more drunken drivers die every year than drunken walkers. But based on the ratio of miles driven drunk and miles walked drunk, and the number of deaths in each category, “on a per-mile basis, a drunk walker is eight times more likely to get killed than a drunk driver,” the authors argue.

The analysis comes with the major caveat that “a drunk walker isn’t likely to hurt or kill anyone other than her- or himself. That can’t be said of a drunk driver.” And the authors clearly state the safest choice would be to drink less or take a cab

But it highlights the dangers of what many consider to be the safer alternative.

Those who are intoxicated and decide not to drive home should be applauded, Jordan said.

“But walking home alone is a terrible idea when drinking, especially with the cold weather,” Jordan said.

People often underestimate just how far the walk is and can be unprepared for the winter weather. Dark streets and one too many drinks make it all too easy to trip over sidewalk cracks and curbs.

“You’re putting yourself at risk for other bad things to happen,” Jordan said of walking home alone.

Just like those who have to drive home, Jordan said party-goers should plan ahead if they want to walk home. Among the alternatives in Lawrence is the Tipsy Taxi, a free service that runs from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. tonight and takes people safely to their homes. Those who want to use it should call 842-TAXI at least 45 minutes ahead of time.

Several pedestrian fatalities in Lawrence speak to the risks involved.

So what's the solution to all this problem of not knowing exactly what to do when your drunk since both options of driving and walking are out the door? Why not call AAA? I'm serious. They're willing to tow your drunk ass home after a long night of drinking.

One way Santa Clarita Valley residents can cope with local law enforcement wrangling drunken drivers this holiday season is to take AAA up on an offer to tow their vehicles home free, a AAA official said Friday.

The program is called "Tipsy Tow," and it offers drunken drivers a better alternative than trying to drive their cars home after drinking, said Nichole Walker, AAA representative.

"The first seven miles are free," Walker said. "After that, the individual pays the rest of the way."

Any money AAA expends on this program will be offset by the cost of towing after seven miles, Walker said.

Sheriff's deputies across Los Angeles County have made 1,849 DUI arrests between Dec.16 and Friday, officials said. The number was up from this time last year, when 1,720 arrests for DUI were made.

And make no mistake, the cops will be out in full force today. Just the last few days I have seen them pulling over people left and right on the roads. It is not a good time to be a motorist. They really are out there working their pens over time to see how they can make the streets "Safer", or in other words, squeeze the final tax revenue from anyone before 2011 ends.

Though seriously, you shouldn't be out there drunk driving nor should you be putting anyone else at risk because of your shitty inability to multitask. This includes people on the phone. Because regardless on if you have or haven't been drinking a single thing, you best be careful in how you're driving today. The CHP has warned that they will have a zero tolerance for anyone who is driving while being distracted.

If you are holding your cellphone and talking or… weaving in and out of your lane while eating a cheeseburger, the California Highway Patrol says it will be handing you a ticket. Officer Adrian Quintero says the department got a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety and figured this weekend would be a good time to put that grant to use.

QUINTERO: "The number one concern we get from members of the community every time we go to one of these meetings is 'What are you guys going to about it. We see all of these individuals on the cell phones nowadays". It's a sense of complacency I think with a lot of these drivers now. So, we're going to be very active.""

Quintero says officers will be focusing on handing out distracted driving tickets today and tomorrow.

He says officers have already handed out a half-a-million tickets statewide for violations of the hands-free law and nearly twelve thousand tickets for texting and driving.
So even if you're not drunk or don't plan on drinking, you probably should put down the cheeseburger or just make sure all your make up is applied on your face long before you hit the open road as they will cite your ass and it will be an expensive ticket.

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