While it’s easy to assume that poor driving behaviors, such as swerving, speeding, and rolling through stop signs, are indications of a driver who is under the influence of drugs, this is not always the case. There are several types of poor driving behaviors that have nothing to do with alcohol and yet are as dangerous as, or even more dangerous than, driving under the influence (DUI).
1. Fatigued Driving
New moms and dads, you get this one! Driving while fatigued can make one behave like a driver who is intoxicated. Sleep deprivation can take its toll, it can slow reaction time, cause vision disturbances, and cause one to nod off while driving.
A driver may even fall asleep at the wheel and lose control, causing an accident. A recent Australian study found that sober drivers who were kept awake for more than 24 hours drove worse than intoxicated drivers. Acute sleep loss and chronic loss of sleep over time can both adversely impact one's driving abilities.
2. Distracted Driving
An epidemic that has rapidly swept the nation, particularly with increased smartphone use, distracted driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that drivers who texted behind the wheel were about 23 times more likely to be involved in crashes than drivers who were not distracted. Taking one's visual, mental or manual attention from the road may lead to driving behavior that mimics drunk driving, resulting in a police stop.
3. Driver Negligence
No driver is perfect, and a simple mistake or act of carelessness could be misconstrued as a pattern of poor driving associated with DUI. If you've been accused of drunk driving but your abilities were unimpaired by alcohol or drugs, it may be that simple negligence or carelessness is to blame.
Driver Negligence vs. Impaired Driving
If you find yourself arrested for DUI when your driving mistakes had nothing to do with alcohol or drugs, you may be hard-pressed to prove your sobriety. It’s important to remember that driving while distracted, such as texting while driving, or running a red light, are traffic violations punishable only by fines and points on your driver's license.
DUI is far more serious, and avoiding charges or a conviction will be in your best interests. One of the benefits of hiring a skilled DUI attorney is disproving intoxication and showing how poor driving behavior may have been attributed to an entirely different issue, like a simple act of negligence.
This can result in a dismissal of your DUI charges, and a much less serious situation of dealing with a traffic ticket or no citation at all.
To challenge your DUI charges, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today. We represent drivers in Orange County, providing aggressive DUI defense strategies to help clients avoid convictions and even formal charges in the first place. Call today.