Drunk Driving and Your Health: What Are The Real Risks

This is a guest post from law writer Sabrina Wright.

You’re used to driving late at night, even if you’ve had drinks with your friends. This has been your routine for years. No matter how drunk you are, you would always choose to drive home because, for you, you’d always want to sleep in the comfort of your own bed. And you’re never worried about getting into any accidents because in your defense, you’ve been doing this for years and nothing bad has happened to you. You’re still in one piece. You’re a grown man, and you believe you can still manage yourself while you’re on the road. And since nothing bad has happened to you in the past while you’re drink driving, you decided to continue doing your ways. But are you actually waiting for an accident before you change your mindset? Or are you forgetting that you’re also putting your health at risk whenever you drink drive?

Your life is the biggest thing you can lose once you drink and drive. This is common knowledge to everyone (hopefully including you). However, although you might not die immediately once you drink and drive, your health is adversely affected in the process. And the effects might not be visible in weeks or even in years but before you know it, your body may not be functioning well because you’re frequently drink driving. To create a clearer picture in your head, here are the real risks of drink driving to your health:

Your eyesight will be affected: If you’ve been drunk many times, you might have felt that sensation of not being able to stand straight because everything you’re seeing seems to be tilting to one side. And seeing this makes you dizzy.

  • No, you don’t have to visit your favorite ophthalmologist for a new set of glasses because your eyesight is not totally at fault why situations like these happen. You’re feeling this way because of alcohol. Aside from feeling dizzy, you’ll also have slower pupil reaction times which can become an issue as you’ll not be able to adapt to oncoming headlights while on the road.
  • You need your eyes to be alert while you’re on the road to determine if there are vehicles ahead or behind you, or if pedestrians are crossing the street. Once you’re not able to see these on your way, you could be involved in fatal accidents.
  • One of the long-term effects of alcohol to your eyesight is decreased vision due to vitamin deficiency. If you drink too much too often, your liver loses the ability to absorb the vitamins needed for your eyesight. You can end up with night blindness or paralysis of the eye muscles.

Your hearing will be affected: Similar to the importance of your eyesight, your sense of hearing is also required when you’re behind the wheel. How else will you know that a car is planning to overtake your vehicle if you can’t hear it honk?

  • There’s a reason why you’re not allowed to wear your favorite iPod headphones while you’re on the road – so you can be aware of what’s around you to make better decisions while driving. If you can hear a vehicle’s honk as it’s planning to approach an intersection, you’ll be able to make a complete stop and make way for that vehicle.
  • But if you’re not able to listen attentively to these warnings, you won’t know what will happen next. And the effects that this has on you, and surrounding traffic, could be detrimental.
  • Permanent hearing loss is one of the long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption. This happens because alcohol can damage your inner ear hair cells which are responsible for translating sounds from your ear to your brain. You’ll be able to act accordingly based on the things you hear.

Your brain will be affected: Your brain is in charge of everything that you say and do. Without it, you’ll not be able to do anything at all. Similarly, your eyesight and hearing will be useless if your brain can’t process the information it’s getting.

  • Sure, you might see a pedestrian coming to your direction, but once your brain can’t process this information, you might not be able to step on the brakes on time. Your foot-eye coordination might be hindered for you to do anything.
  • If alcohol is already in your system, you’ll lose the concentration and ability to think while you’re on the road. And these things are important to ensure your safety. You need to focus on what’s on the road, and you should be able to make decisions immediately whenever problems arise while you’re driving.
  • ou don’t want to blackout when you’re faced with a very stressful situation while driving. Unfortunately, this can happen if you’re always intoxicated. You can blackout and lose control of the wheel.

The risks of drink driving to your health should be reasons enough for you to change your mindset on what you think is right. Yes, you might get at home after a night out, but that doesn’t outweigh the risks – you don’t know what can happen on the road and the chances of you, getting any long-term illnesses are gradually increasing. Nothing good can come from either of those, right? Instead of driving when you’re drunk, consider asking a friend to drive you home or stay in a nearby hotel. Your life and safety should always be your priority, no matter what the situation is.

Sabrina Wright

Sabrina Wright is a vibrant young law writer currently writing her next big project. Her modern outlook on the law field is reflected on her informative pieces. Sabrina loves cooking and often invites her friends over for barbecue.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Sandy DeSoto a very well-known Personal Trainer in Southern California has been killed by a Suspected Drunk Driver while riding her Motorcycle in Santa Monica.

Sandy Desoto was killed while riding her Motorcycle by a suspected Drunk Driver
Beautiful Sandy Desoto was killed while riding her Motorcycle by a suspected Drunk Driver

Santa Monica – California

Sandy DeSoto, 48, of Marina Del Rey, was fatally injured May 7 and taken off life support Thursday.

Santa Monica police are investigating the accident in which a 74-year-old New Jersey man was booked on suspicion of drunken driving and released pending any charges.

The former Ford model, who worked out of Gold’s Gym in Venice, divided her time between her boat, a house in Palm Springs and a cabin in Big Bear.

A lifelong athlete and avid motorcycle rider, she reportedly was headed toward home after watching a Friday night boxing match when a tourist made an illegal U-turn in front of her, and her southbound BMW GS 1100R struck the side of his car in the 1700 block of Ocean Avenue.

The Minnesota-born beauty, who spoke fluent Spanish and German, spent her early years in Los Angeles, then moved to Guatemala with her parents, where she attended high school and college. She was an Olympic hopeful in track and field but sidelined due to a knee injury, according to a bio on her website.

She is survived by her mother and a brother, both of whom in live in Southern California.

Police stated they may turn their case over to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges next week.

Funeral plans were pending today for a well-known personal trainer fatally injured in a motorcycle accident on Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue.

What I cannot understand is why the idiot that killed Sandy was released pending any charges. If he was booked for suspicion of drunk driving, why was he not charged with drunk driving murder or at the minimum manslaughter for making an illegal U turn.

I ride my motorcycle almost every day. The way I look at this situation is that it could have been any one of us motorcycle riders who could have been the victim of this fool who made the illegal left turn.

I was riding with some bro’s yesterday, and some idiot who was illegally holding a cell phone to his head almost switched into my lane. Luckily I have a loud mini-beast air horn. When I opened up my Mini Beast the guy jumped. That is why I got the damm thing.

I send my prayers and condolences to the family of Sandy DeSoto; she did not deserve to go out this way.

The chump who killed her needs to have the book thrown at him.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Billy Lane files a Motion to Reduce His Jail Sentence.

Billy Lane leaving Court *** 10/25/09 Update – The Judge has rejected this motion. I guess you cannot blame someone for trying to get out of jail right?

Imprisoned celebrity motorcycle builder Billy Lane wants a judge to give his fatal crash victim’s family another chance to say what kind of punishment he should receive, in hopes of getting his six-year prison sentence reduced.

Lane, 39, was sentenced in August to six years in prison after pleading no contest to one count of vehicular homicide for crashing his pickup truck head-on into 56-year-old Gerald Morelock’s motorcycle while speeding past slow traffic in a no-pass zone on Sept. 4, 2006.

During sentencing, the victim’s brother and nephew declined to recommend a punishment, but asked the judge to impose a sentence that would use Lane’s celebrity status to help save the lives of young people through a foundation they plan to create in Morelock’s name.

However, Lane’s attorneys recently filed a motion claiming the men have since expressed that intense media and public scrutiny caused them to be “vague” about their feelings on a prison sentence for Lane.

“They were sufficiently overwhelmed by the experience that they did not fully express their feeling that Mr. Lane would better be able to benefit society if he were not incarcerated,” the defense motion says.

The attorneys want Circuit Judge Robert Burger to give the Morelocks another chance to be heard and to reduce Lane’s sentence if he sees fit.

No hearing on the motion has been set.

I must admit, this is one of the most bizzare defense motions I have ever heard. If it is granted I will be shocked.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer

Billy Lane Gets Six Years in Prison for Vehicular Manslaughter – A Follow Up.

Custom Motorcycle Builder Billy Lane is sentenced to 6 years in prisonYou can read many of the articles I have written on the Billy Lane case below or by typing in Billy Lane in the search box on the sidebar to the right.

Billy Lane is a custom motorcycle builder who got famous on reality TV shows like Biker Build off on the Discovery Channel in the early 2000’s. He then went on to make regular appearances on the motorcycle event circuit at events such as, Sturgis, Daytona, etc.

Billy Lane got rich and famous as a biker off of bikers. Then Billy Lane did something really stupid; he got shit faced drunk. Then, while his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit he decided to jump into a free SUV given to him to drive as a promotional item by Dodge, along with a lady who rode in the passenger seat, and proceeded to drive.

While driving intoxicated, he decided to cross a double yellow line and hit a biker named Gerry Morelock head on killing Gerry Morelock. Although Gerry Morelock himself had been drinking, he was in no way responsible for the accident or his death. His only mistake that day was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As a biker, I empathize with Gerry Morelock, because it could have been me; it could have been any biker on the road that day. When you have an asshole like Billy Lane crossing a double yellow and plowing into you head on it really does not matter who you are, you are dead. Gerry Morelock is dead. He is dead because Billy Lane decided to get drunk and drive.

I have heard commenter’s on my Biker Law Blog make the argument that we should not talk shit about Billy Lane because we have all drank alcohol and driven, so who are we to throw stones? I say bullshit. How many of us have got drunk then crossed a double yellow line and smashed into a fellow biker head on, killing him?

Billy Lane and Dodge reached settlements of civil cases brought by the family of Gerry Morelock well before Billy Lane’s criminal case was resolved.

So Billy Lane was sentenced to 6 years in the pokie, (prison) by a Vera, Florida Court. He was also placed on three years of probation following his incarceration, and the loss of his driver’s license for life. For basically murdering a man, he got off real light.

May Gerry Morelock rest in peace.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Breaking News- Anaheim, California – DUI Checkpoints and Patrols Scheduled for Today, Saturday, October 17th, 2009, and Sunday, October 18, 2009, and more!

Anaheim dui checkpoints and rousting bikers and motorcyclistThe following is directly from a press release from the Anaheim Police Department. It was not written by me.

### Beginning of Press Release.

The Anaheim Police Department host a total of 6 Sobriety and Drivers License checkpoints, starting with one on Harbor Boulevard near La Palma Park on Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 8:00 PM to 3:00 AM Sunday, October 18, 2009. In addition to checking for DUI drivers, officers will be checking those driving with suspended licenses. Safe driving pamphlets will be handed out to drivers screened at the checkpoint. Checkpoints are designed to bring DUI awareness to the most number of drivers.

The Anaheim Police Department has been awarded a DUI enforcement and awareness grant to combat DUI for a total of $205,115. Funding for this program is provided through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This funding will supplement the departments’ overall commitment to lower DUI related traffic collisions. These additional monies will fund additional sobriety checkpoints, DUI patrols and other efforts to help bring about a zero level of DUI in the city of Anaheim.

The additional saturation patrols funded by the grant will increase the number of officers in the field to help assist the program “Report Drunk Drivers: Call 9-1-1”. With the grant’s funding, Anaheim Police will add 4 additional officers to the field nearly every weekend during the next twelve months. These additional officers will be able to respond quicker to 9-1-1 calls by those reporting erratic drivers on our streets. New this time is the addition of the OTS Motorcycle Safety Campaign.

The Anaheim Police will conduct four Motorcycle Safety and Enforcement programs over the next year. The department will take to the streets and focus on the motorcycle rider. Officers plan on working with motorcycle shops, clubs and dealers in the area to first educate the rider and then ensure they are in compliance with the law. DUI and the proper use of helmets will be the first on the list as these are the primary causes of death and serious injury to the motorcycle riding public.

For any media questions, contact Sergeant Rick Martinez at (714) 497-6608 or email him at Rmartinez@anaheim.net

## End of Press Release.

Notice the part about the motorcycle safety and enforcement programs. It looks like the writing is on the wall in Anaheim and they are going to start rousting bikers, motorcycle riders, and shops. If this occurs, I say boycott Anaheim. We have a right to be on the street too.

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney

Billy Lane to Face 9 years in Jail as Part of Plea Bargain Deal

Billy Lane 2009 *** August 18, 2009 Update.

Billy Lane got 6 years in prison and probation after he gets out. Look for a new article on the subject soon.

*** June 17, 2009 Update.

Billy Lane’s plea of guilty to vehicular homicide was accepted by the Court last week. He will remain free until his next Court appearance on August 14, 2009, when he will be sentenced. It is said that he will probably avoid prison. Part of the plea deal mandates a lifetime suspension of his drivers license in Florida, however he could petition the Florida department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a hardship licence.

He faced up to 15 years in prison, however according to published reports his plea deal mitigates his maximum possible sentence to 9 years. He may also be sentenced to house arrest or probation.

In June 2002, motorcycle builder Billy Lane of Melbourne Beach, Florida was on top of the world. He sold custom-built motorcycles at $30,000 to $40,000 a piece. He gained fame and celebrity status through various reality TV shows. He was subsequently was invited as a featured guest to motorcycle shows and festivals all over the United States and beyond.

Now Billy Lane who is 39 years old, is facing up to nine years in prison on a single felony charge of vehicular homicide in connection with a Labor Day 2006 car crash that left a Gerry Morelock, a Melbourne Beach, Florida man, a motorcyclist, dead.

After several delays, Lane is expected in court Tuesday morning to change his not guilty plea to “no contest.” He would then be sentenced on Aug. 14, 2009, at 9:00am.

“We did get the written plea agreement in,” defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger told several newspapers. “Based on my review of it, I don’t anticipate any problems. I anticipate we are good to go Tuesday.”

Lane was charged two years ago with one count of DUI manslaughter in connection with the 2006 traffic accident in which Gerry Morelock, 56, died.

Police said Lane’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he crossed a double yellow line to pass slow traffic on State Road A1A south of Melbourne Beach, Florida. He crashed his Dodge pickup head on into Morelock’s small Yamaha motorcycle on Sept. 4, 2006, police said.

In light of ongoing legal discussions over the permissibility of blood evidence at trial, prosecutors in late December added an alternative charge of vehicular homicide, which requires the state to prove that Lane was driving recklessly but does not include the drug or alcohol element needed to prove DUI manslaughter.

Both charges are second-degree felonies in the State of Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Billy Lane 2006But under the terms of the plea deal, Eisenmenger said prosecutors will drop the DUI manslaughter charge. Instead, they will seek a nine-year prison term for the vehicular homicide charge, a term Lane is eligible for under state sentencing guidelines when his prior criminal record is considered.

Eisenmenger will seek a sentence that calls for no time in prison. “We believe there are mitigating factors in this case. . . . And we’re going to be presenting those to the court at sentencing,” he said.

Since the crash, Lane’s public persona has suffered, but he still seems to be popular at biker and motorcycle events.

A message on his motorcycle shop’s Web site says the shop is closed to the public, though merchandise is available for purchase online. Court records indicate that Lane’s Melbourne Beach, Florida home is going through foreclosure.

Lane reached a confidential out-of-court settlement on a wrongful death suit filed by Morelock’s family. Also, records show that Erin Derrick, a 22-year-old woman who was in the car with Lane at the time of the crash, is suing him for injuries she says have rendered her unable to work.

If Billy Lane does change his plea to no contest tomorrow, I will comment more on this issue at that time. Everyone who reads the Biker Law Blog knows how I feel about people who kill bikers and motorcyclist.

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., 2009

The Dodge Answer to the Morelock Family Lawsuit in the Billy Lane Case!

Billy Lane

Mike Odom went to great lengths and a 3 hour ride to get a copy of the Dodge Answer to the Morelock Family Negligent Entrustment Case, related to the Billy Lane case.

You can see the full answer posted here on Mike Odom’s Blog.

I cannot comment on Florida law because I am not licensed to practice law in Florida, (I am licensed in California and before the United States Court Central District (Federal Court) but I can say this about the answer; I would expect the exact same kind of Answer to be filed in California!

In California, you are allowed to do a general denial to an unverified complaint. (Unverified means a complaint that is not signed under penalty of perjury). So if this was a California answer it would just be a general denial.

With respect to affirmative defenses; the general rule for all lawyers defending a case it to assert every and all potential affirmative defenses in your answer, because if you don’t you could lose them.

Basically what I am getting at is that the Answer that you see filed by Dodge in its present form looks like a standard answer that any competent lawyer would file on behalf of their client. With respect to litigation; after discovery is conducted it could very well be that the decedent’s (Morelock) family could do a motion for summary judgment or for a judgment on the pleadings with respect to certain or all of the affirmative defenses.

We will see how it all pans out. There very well could be a settlement of the case before or during trial.

I would expect Dodge to cross-complain against Billy Lane for equitable indemnity, (reimbursement) in this case. In California they would have to file a cross-complaint at the time their answer is filed. I do not know for sure if Dodge cross-complained against Billy Lane or not. Maybe Mike or others could chime in on this issue in the comments section.

I handle these types of cases in my own practice. This case could take up to two years or more to get through the legal system. We will see.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2006

More on the Billy Lane Case.

Billy LaneI recently wrote an article about the Billy Lane drunk driving manslaughter case. You can find that article by clicking here now. Since I wrote that article, much more information has become available about the case.

I was contacted by a gentleman and fellow biker named Michael Odom, who has written an extensive article about the Billy Lane case in his Blog. His article not only goes into the details of the accident, it also goes into the details of the case. You can check out Michael’s article by clicking here now.

I highly recommend that you read the article written by Michael Odom. His article provides much more technical detail than any other article I have read regarding this case to date.

I again express my sincere condolences to the family of the biker who was killed in this accident Gerald V. Morelock.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, ESQ. , copyright 2006

Billy Lane, a Tragedy.

Billy LaneMany of you probably already know that Custom Motorcycle Builder Billy Lane was involved in a motorcycle accident which claimed the life of Gerry V. Morelock, a 56 year old man who was just out riding his “Street Legal” Yamaha Scooter. It has been alleged that Billy Lane, while driving his custom-painted black Dodge Ram pickup on a suspended license, crossed over a double yellow line and slammmed head-on into Morelock who was just out for a ride, killing him instantly.

After toxicology reports came back showing the Billy Lane had a B.A.C. (blood alocohol content) of 0.192, more than twice the legal limit in Florida, Billy Lane was arrested and accused of drunk driving manslaughter in the death of the other biker. If convicted Billy Lane faces 15 years in prison.

You may wonder why I titled this editorial “Billy Lane, a Tragedy,” and not “Gerry V. Morelock” a tragedy.” The reason I titiled the editorial the way I did is because no one knows who Gerry V. Morelock is, whereas most bikers know who Billy Lane is.

By all accounts Gerry V. Morelock was a great guy, with a great family, and was just out for a ride on his Yamaha Scooter. He did not deserve to die the way he did. His death is a tragedy.

As a lawyer, I am not going to write an editorial about Billy Lane’s guilt. He is innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law. If he is found guilty then all bet’s are off.

The irony of this story is that one biker killed another biker. I have read in places that Gerry V. Morelock was only riding a Street Legal Scooter, so that does not qualify him as a Biker; WRONG. He was riding on two wheels just like the rest of us. He did not deserve to die that day, he did nothing wrong. Gerry V. Morelock is and was a Biker and deserves the respect and sympathy of the rest of the Biker Community.

Billy Lane was a cager the day he caused the death of Gerry V. Morelock. He was a cager who is accused of drunk driving manslaughter, but also driving with a suspended license and other crimes.

We will have to wait for the Court System to pass judgment on Billy Lane. We all know how the biker community will treat Billy Lane, even if he is not found guilty. We do not like people who kill our own, even if he is one of our own.

Gerry V. MorelockSo what is the editorial really about? It is about, Gerry V. Morelock, a Tragedy. He was a good and decent man, who was cut down due to no fault of his own, by a negligent cager who also happened to be a biker. He did not even have a chance.

The next time one of you wants to get drunk and put the keys into your car or motorcycle remember one thing; is your life really worth it? Is the life of another really worth it? Would not it be better to take a cab, get a ride from a friend, or even sleeping it off on the sidewalk be better than potentially killing another, and losing your own life and career over it?

Being a Biker Lawyer I get regular reports of Motorcycle Accidents and Motorcycle related injuires and deaths from all over the country. If just makes me sick to my stomach. Most people do not realize the carnage that is occuring to Bikers and Motorcyclist from all over country on a daily basis. It is not pretty. If you are a biker or a non biker; the next time you are riding in your cage, why don’t you take a couple of seconds and remember, the guy or gal on that motorcycle is a human being just like you.

Go in peace Gerry V. Morelock, and may god rest your soul. We in the biker community remember you. Although you were riding a Yamaha Scooter, you were a true biker!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

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