In between serious stories about drunk driving and its consequences, a funny news item sometimes pops up about a DUI occurring on a vehicle besides a car or truck. People have been cited for drunk driving on riding mowers, Segways, tractors, even horses.

drunk-driving-memorialIt makes for amusing copy, but the items usually end with the warning that operating any vehicle drunk – from an ATV to a Zamboni – can be dangerous. A sad case in Prescott proves this.

A 54-year-old woman was driving her mother on a golf cart when she made a sharp turn and her mother fell out. The 75-year-old woman, who was seriously injured in the fall, died soon after.

The daughter’s blood alcohol level was .18, over twice the legal limit for intoxication in Arizona. This makes the case one of Extreme DWI, an offense which carries stiff penalties. Extreme DUI convictions result in a 1-year license revocation and, once driving resumes, the requirement to use an ignition interlock. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, will not allow a car or truck to operate if the driver has been drinking.

Had it been a simple DUI arrest, it would have made a good joke, complete with a golf-related pun in the headline.

But like too many drunk driving incidents, it ended in a real disaster.

For generations now, road safety organizations have been trying to get drivers to respect the motor vehicle and the damage it can do. Mostly we think of cars and trucks, but any mahine that moves faster than we can walk can be hard to control, and deserves our full attention. We can only give that attention if we are unimpaired.

No matter what you’re driving, you need to do it sober. No joke.

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