Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Donating Blood Was Never This Difficult

It has been a few months since this column began and every time I write about the situation I was in, it brings back horrible memories. As some of you know, I was involved in a fatal accident where a pedestrian’s life was lost. This accident involved drinking, driving and actions that were in part huge lapses in judgement.

As I stated in a previous column, I was retuning home after an evening of dinner and drinks when the unforeseen event played itself out. It was early in the morning of June 2006. It was quite dark, rather calm and not a lot of people where on the street. Then, in the blink of an eye, the accident occurred. I pulled the car over and sat there for a moment. I then got out of the car and saw a figure lying in the street. He was not moving. I stood there shocked and started to panic. The sirens could be heard in the distance and were getting closer.

Before I knew it, there was an officer standing next to me. He asked who I was and I answered him. He asked if I was all right or needed medical attention. I replied that I was fine and did not need medical attention. He then walked toward the lifeless body that lie in the street and stood there a moment. He looked back at me, then approached with his flashlight shining in my face and started asking the questions that are most feared. “Have you been drinking?” “How many have you had?” “Where are you coming from?” “Where are you going?” “Will you submit to an alcohol sobriety test?” I complied regarding his questions which is what most people would do. Others may consult with a lawyer, which is the legal right of anyone, if given the opportunity.

Aside, if a driver does not comply with sobriety testing after being pulled over by police on suspicion of DUI, there could be additional consequences. In Florida when a vehicle accident occurs, the police may ask for a sample of blood, breath or urine from the surviving parties that were involved. The sample is submitted as evidence and assists with determining what statute(s) of Florida law have been violated if any. In this case, the sample would be used for DUI which is charged as a misdemeanour.

For suspicion of DUI, a sample is usually given twice, then examined on site or sent to a lab. My sample was sent to a lab so the results would be delayed a week or two. The chemical sample submitted to police and paramedics determines the BAC or blood alcohol concentration. The legal limit of BAC to operate a vehicle is .08 and is determined through a mathematical equation. The factors of the equation usually include a persons weight, number of drinks consumed, time between drinks, discharge through the bladder and the percentage of alcohol per drink. There is a number of BAC calculators available online to determine what limit a person may be at. Most often, the average person that is 150 pounds that consumes three drinks within an hour or two could be within the .08 range.

A few weeks after the accident I learnt of my BAC. I was double the legal limit. I would be charged with a misdemeanour DUI and was also looking at the possibility of additional, more serious charge of vehicular homicide. Obviously, it was not the best way to begin the summer and the days that lie ahead were going to be rough for me due to the decision to drink and drive.

Shane Eason is a faculty member at FAU School of Communication and Multimedia Studies. He is available to discuss the dangers of driving under the influence to youth groups and schools in the South Florida region.

The UP did not edit this submission. We are not responsible for the content in this column.

Please send comments and questions to Shane Eason at [email protected].

This column will continue monthly throughout 2008.

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