Tags Posts tagged with "drinking and driving"

drinking and driving

File photo by Steve Silverman

The best part of the holiday season can be celebrating with family members and friends. Often alcohol can be part of these events, and if a person doesn’t drink responsibly, their actions can lead to dangers on the road.

If drinking is part of the festivities or ingesting any other substances that can impair the senses, a plan of action is needed before the partying begins. There is no excuse for driving under the influence.

For decades, we have been familiar with sage advice such as having a designated driver, planning to sleep over at the home where the party takes place or calling a taxi. Of course, sometimes the designated driver decides to join in on the fun or it turns out there is no room to sleep at the house. In many areas, especially in our towns, there aren’t many taxi services. Just a few years ago, scenarios such as the ones mentioned could spell danger if a person under the influence decided to get into the driver’s seat because they just wanted to go home.

Nowadays, there is no excuse for driving under the influence of any substance with phone apps to order car services such as Uber or Lyft providing another way to stay safe on the roads.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, better known as MADD, there are more than 300,000 drinking and driving incidents a day in this country. According to the grassroots organization, in 2019 this reckless form of driving led to 10,142 deaths that year, which breaks down to almost 28 people killed a day. There are also 300,000 injuries a year due to drinking and driving, according to MADD.

All of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the drivers who caused them had a plan before drinking. And, let’s not forget, everyone can play a part in keeping impaired drivers off the road. When hosting a party, make arrangements for your guests who will be indulging themselves. Keep in mind the Suffolk County Social Host Law, which is primarily intended to deter underage drinking parties or gatherings where adults knowingly allow minors to drink alcohol or alcoholic beverages.

The holiday season is a time for celebrating the accomplishments of the past year and the promises of a new year. Let’s keep the roads in our communities safe to enjoy during the next few weeks and all year long.

METRO photo

With the Memorial Day weekend behind us, it’s time to enjoy outdoor get-togethers such as barbecues and lazy days on the beach. Unfortunately, this time of year also means more drivers under the influence on our roads and more inexperienced ones, too. 

When attending a party, it’s pretty simple. If you plan on drinking alcohol or ingesting other substances that can impair your senses, make sure you have a plan. There is no excuse for driving under the influence. Once upon a time, someone who planned on drinking needed to have a designated driver, plan to sleep over at the place where they were partying or call a taxi. Sometimes many partiers found themselves with a designated person who decided they would have a little fun, too. Or, with no room to sleep at the house where the party was held or a taxi that never showed up, they then got behind the wheel of a car and took off. Nowadays, with phone apps to order car services such as Uber or Lyft, there’s no excuse for driving under the influence of any substance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives due to drunk-driving crashes in the U.S. That’s 10,142 lives that were lost unnecessarily. But there is even more to watch out for on the road during those hot months besides drunk drivers. 

Memorial Day to Labor Day has become known as the “100 deadliest days” of the year as the teen driver death rate increases. According to AAA, from the unofficial start of summer to its unofficial end, there are “more fatal crashes per day, on average, involving teen drivers compared to the rest of the year.”

A study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found more than 7,000 teens died in such crashes from 2010-19 in the U.S. In New York state, during the same period, 473 teen drivers died in car crashes. Risk factors include teens lack of driving skills and experiences behind the wheel and the unstructured time that summer brings with kids out of school and not having as many activities such as sports and clubs. There are also other risk factors such as texting while driving, running red lights, driving aggressively and not wearing a seat belt.

What can one do when they’re traveling the roads besides watching out for drivers who are weaving in or out or running red lights? The best thing is to set an example of good driving habits on the road, especially when young people are in the passenger seats, which means cinching that seat belt, no texting or talking on the phone, no eating or drinking while steering.

And to play a part in keeping impaired drivers off the road, of course, when you’re hosting a party, make arrangements for your guests who will be indulging themselves.

The summertime should be time for fun, not for tears. Let’s keep the roads in our community safe, not only for the next few months but all year long. It just takes making a few wise decisions.

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

The Suffolk County Police Department Highway Patrol Bureau, assisted by the New York State Police, arrested seven people during an overnight sobriety checkpoint in the Port Jefferson Station area June 29-30.

Police officers conducted a sobriety checkpoint at the corner of Route 25A and Hallock Avenue in Port Jefferson Station. The checkpoint was conducted as part of ongoing July 4th holiday enforcement operations for the prevention of injuries and fatalities associated with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs. A total of 603 vehicles went through the checkpoint.

The following people were charged with driving while intoxicated:

  • Michele Best, 40, of East Islip
  • Roger Piacentini, 55, of Coram
  • George Gallo, 49, of Rocky Point
  • Blanca Escobar-Avalos, 32, of Washington, D.C.
  • Christian Ramos, 21, of South Setauket

The following were charged with driving while ability impaired:

  • Tariq Rana, 27, of Coram
  • David Vargas, 53, of Hauppauge

The above individuals were scheduled to be arraigned at 1st District Court in Central Islip June 30.