A man from Dudley was arrested on his fifth DUI charge, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The man, Ricky Bednarz, was previously found guilty of driving under the influence twice in 1988, once in 1991, and 1995. In addition, he was also placed on probation for driving under the influence. Police arrived at Gore Road in response to a report of a pickup truck being driven erratically at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 28th. At one point a witness indicated that the pickup truck had crossed the centerline and almost struck an oncoming vehicle. Mr. Bednarz was arrested and later registered 0.19 percent on a breath test. Under the law, a driver who registers 0.08 percent or more on such a test is considered to be under the influence. Mr. Bednarz has posted bond in the case and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Drunk Driving Statistics
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in the United States a person is killed in a drunk driving crash every 53 minutes (on average). In Massachusetts in 2012, 123 traffic fatalities were caused by drunk driving, a number that represented over one-third of all traffic-related deaths that year. One-third of all alcohol-related arrests, crashes, deaths, and injuries are caused by repeat offenders (those with one or more prior convictions for driving under the influence).
Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous because of the effects alcohol has on a driver. Alcohol affects a person’s mental functions and judgment, causing an impaired driver to lose his or her reason and caution. A driver’s comprehension is also negatively affected, causing the driver to fail to understand visual or audible signals. Thus, an impaired driver cannot effectively understand traffic signs or signals in time to react, nor can an impaired driver respond quickly to hazardous situations that immediately present themselves.
Alcohol also impairs a driver’s concentration and coordination. Driving a vehicle safely requires a driver to be able to focus on many things simultaneously (such as the vehicle’s speed, position on the roadway, and watching out for other traffic), as well as be able to perform multiple physical tasks at the same time (using one’s foot to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle, using a turn signal, shifting gears, etc.).
Finally, it has been documented that alcohol can reduce a driver’s ability to see, hear, and react to hazards on the road. Visual acuity can be reduced up to 32%, and an impaired driver can not only get “tunnel vision” (loss of peripheral vision) but can also be blinded by headlights and glare easily because the dilation of the pupils in response to light is slowed. It can be difficult for an impaired driver to determine the direction from which sounds such as car horns are coming. Alcohol also slows a driver’s reaction time by up to 25%, making it more likely for an alcohol-impaired driver to be involved in a crash that a sober driver could have otherwise avoided.
Contact Legal Help Today
Impaired driving can not only result in serious criminal penalties, but an impaired driver who injures or kills another person can be held responsible in a civil case for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other monetary damages. If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash with an impaired driver, contact us at (508) 755-7535 for a free consultation.