For decades drivers have been warned about how dangerous it can be to get behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. Over the years, drunk driving rates have steadily dropped across the country, including here in the East Bay. However, as DUI rates continue to drop there has been a steady increase in the number of accidents involving distracted drivers. Some young drivers are even getting caught drinking and driving while texting at the same time.
According to an article from the Associated Press, 19-year-old Texas A&M University student Miranda Kay Rader was behind the wheel of an Acura SUV when it slammed into the back of a parked police vehicle. The vehicle was unoccupied at the time, parked at a residence to investigate a disturbance. The police car had emergency lights flashing at the time. Officer John Sartell with the Bryan Police Department approached the vehicle witnessing Rader trying to button up her black blouse.
Rader said that she was taking a topless selfie to send to her boyfriend over Snapchat. She'd planned to send the photo while she was stopped at a red light but crashed before she got that chance. Officer Sartell also noticed an open bottle of wine in her console cup holder. Rader admitted to drinking at a friend's house before she decided to drive back to her dorm on campus.
According to police, she failed several standardized field sobriety tests, including the walk and turn test and the one leg stand test. She was later taken to a hospital for a blood draw to check her blood alcohol level. She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and being in possession of alcohol as a minor. She was released on bail and faces up to 180 days in jail if convicted. The City of Bryan police department posted photos of the accident and Rader's photo on their facebook page, warning drivers not to Snapchat photos to your boyfriend and drive.
In April of this year, another 19-year-old who was involved in a serious crash while using Snapchat to record a selfie of her driving up to 113 miles per hour. Christal McGee's passengers were pleading with her to slow down before the crash, instead, she crashed into the rear of another vehicle leaving one man suffering traumatic brain injuries.
An article from the Brain Injury Society compares texting while driving to being similar to drinking 4 beers. This can lead to unsafe driving, including speeding, following too closely, failure to stop in time, and underestimating the distance and speed of other vehicles on the road. When drivers are combining drunk driving and distracted driving, the dangers only increase.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending young drivers charged with underage DUI offenses in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a drunk driving conviction can affect a young person's future. If you are facing an underage DUI, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.