When a truck driver spilled fuel on a highway and shut down traffic for more than eight hours in November, he was charged with OVI. A month before that, a different semi overturned but the cause of thetruck accident was the same: another driver operating while under the influence. Over the course of this holiday season, it is not unreasonable to assume that many more drivers—either of trucks or passenger vehicles—will be arrested and charged with OVI for getting behind the wheel after consuming one too many alcoholic beverages. As our colleagues at the Los Angeles employment law firm Kesluk & Silverstein noted in a blog post, drunken driving accidents after holiday parties are routinely a major liability issue.
There are many accidents that may not have been preventable, but crashes caused by a drunk driver are certainly not of those types. As we said in our previous posts, driving while intoxicated is particularly inexcusable for truck drivers who are operating vehicles literally carrying tons of weight. However, all other drivers on the roadways need to exercise the same care that we expect those semi drivers to take in not getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
The good news is that there is a new smart phone application designed to assist those who might not have planned ahead before drinking. FreeRideHome uses GPS technology to identify where an individual is located, find sober driver programs offered in that area and put him or her in touch with those programs. In Ohio alone, the program has providers in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Miamisburg and Youngstown. Kentucky has providers listed for Louisville and Lexington.
According to the company’s website, many of the sober driver programs available offer free or discounted services. This could be a terrific alternative for many residents to avoid the tremendous risks of driving drunk. How likely would you be to try FreeRideHome? What preventive measures do you take when attending a holiday party where you know you will be consuming alcohol?