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  Facts About Driving Under the Influence

Everybody knows that consuming alcohol impairs your ability to drive, yet we still have the problem with "drunk drivers". With the enactment of the "Breathalyzer Law" (Act No. 19 of 2007), there are serious consequences if you are caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.08. To get a sense of your BAC and your drinking habits visit http://www.rupissed.com.

Some things you should know about the law:

It is an offence to drive with a BAC of 0.08. If convicted the fine for first offenders is TT$8,000 (or three years imprisonment).  If convicted a second time, the fine increases to TT$15,000 or five years imprisonment, and it is highly possible that you will be banned from driving for 3 years. Get convicted a third time and you would lose your license for good. 

Extracts of the Act (download the Act)

"A person convicted of -
(a) two consecutive offences under this section shall, unless the Court for special reasons thinks fit to order otherwise and without prejudice to the power of the Court to order a longer period of disqualification, be disqualified for a period of three years from the date of the conviction from holding or obtaining a driving permit; and

(b) a third conviction for a like offence, shall be permanently disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit."

Other important things to know, that any "constable may arrest without a warrant, any persons once he/she has reasonable cause to suspect that a person driving or attempting to drive or in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place has alcohol in his breath or blood exceeding the prescribed limit".

If a person refuse to provide a specimen of breath for the breath test fails to do so and the constable has reasonable cause to suspect that person BAC over the limit, he can arrest without

A constable can arrest a driver without a warrant if he/she refuses to take the breathalyzer test and he suspected that the person is over the BAC 0.08 limit.

Here are some sobering facts about drink driving from the United States
source: http://www.MADD.org

  • Impairment is not reliant upon the type of alcohol consumed, rather the number of drinks over a certain period of time. Despite myths and misconceptions, coffee, a cold shower, or exercise will not make a person more sober; only time will.

  • On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest.

  • Every 53 minutes in America, a life is lost in a drunk driving crash; that equates to 27 people every day.

  • For drivers under 21, the U.S. has a No Tolerance policy which does not allow any alcohol to be in the blood system while behind the wheel. The consequences could include expensive fines, loss of license, or jail.

  • Every 90 seconds, someone is injured from a drunk driving incident.

  • In 2011, 9,878 people were victims of drunk drivers.

  • Between 50 and 75 percent of the people who have had their licenses revoked due to driving under the influence drive illegally without their license.

  • Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and roughly one-third of these accidents involve alcohol or another substance.

  • Thanks to law enforcement around driving under the influence, since 1980 the fatality rate of drunk driving has been cut in half.

  • 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2010. Of those 211 children, 62 percent were riding in the car with the impaired driver.

  • Kids and teens who get involved with alcohol at a young age are 7 times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives.

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