Everyone’s heard about the dangers of drunk driving and the harm it can cause. Though drugged driving isn’t discussed as frequently, the harm that it can result in is equally serious. The reality is that intoxicated driving is dangerous, regardless of what substance you’ve ingested to lead to the intoxication. Intoxication leads to impairment and impairment leads to mistakes, sometimes very costly mistakes.
A good example of that occurred earlier this month when a man from Gulfport, MS was sentenced to jail after a September 2014 accident that left an innocent woman seriously injured. Back in 2014, police say they received a call from a concerned motorist about a driver who was weaving dangerously through traffic. Police were dispatched, but before they could arrive, the caller recounted in horror as the impaired driver missed a curve and crossed directly into oncoming traffic. This resulted in a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle, putting the woman in the other car in the hospital with serious head and neck injuries.
After the accident the impaired driver, Kelly Hammons, was given a blood test which showed that he had several illegal drugs in his system at the time of the crash. Among them were cocaine and methamphetamine. Hammons was charged with driving impaired by drugs and only a few weeks ago was sentenced for his crime. The judge presiding over his case sentenced Hammons to 25 years in prison given that his DUI resulted in bodily harm to another motorist.
The sad case illustrates the costs that come with driving under the influence, whether it’s under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Not only did the intoxicated driver lose decades of his freedom due to this bad decision, but an innocent motorist was seriously injured all from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Impaired driving is a serious problem in Mississippi and the United States as a whole. According to the FBI, in 2011, 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of either alcohol or narcotics. Thousands of people die each and every year due to impaired driving accidents, destroying lives and devastating families. The problem of impaired driving impacts many of us, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimating that two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash at some point in their lifetime.
The hope is that sad stories like this one will cause other drivers to rethink the decision to jump behind the wheel while impaired. If you’re under the influence and aren’t safe to drive, call cab, hail an Uber or ask a friend for a lift. Never put the keys into the ignition if you are impaired as the consequences, both to yourself and to other unsuspecting drivers, could be catastrophic.
Source: “Man sentenced for DUI after woman seriously injured in crash,” published at WAPT.com.