When it comes to DUI, we've been there, done that, now serving 233 tips in 15 categories ranging from BAC - Blood Alcohol Concentration to MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Need more advice? Ask a Life Coach or take our Life Coach Directory for a spin.
Having an open container of alcohol in your car while you're driving is against the law. Depending on the state you reside, and whether or not this is your first offense will determine if the crime is a felony or misdemeanor. If you're stopped by the police for a traffic offense, and the officer sees the container in plain sight, that gives him/her probable cause to ascertain whether or not you're driving under the influence. You can expect the officer to give you a field sobriety test and a Breathalyzer test. If you're not intoxicated in the officer's opinion, you will be cited for the open container and have to pay a fine; the amount of the fine depends upon your past arrest record. If you're a "habitual offender," the fine will be higher. Play it safe - keep the open container out of your reach in the trunk. Better still, don't have any open containers in the car, and don't allow any passengers to do so.
Did you know that MADD lobbied for your right to make a courtroom statement as the victim of a DUI offender who has moved into the sentencing phase? Underage drinking, teen drunk driving, and other DUI or DWI cases now offer a constitutionally protected right for you, the victim, to deliver a victim impact statement to the court in many states.
The victim impact statement can help demonstrate the seriousness of the crime, and bring you closure during a painful period in life. Nobody wants to become part of the underage drinking statistics, DUI accident or crime rates, or any other such measurement of DUI related crimes. But in an unfortunate circumstance, it's important to do whatever is possible to bring closure and remind others that these crimes can and do happen very close to home.
While not all MADD chapters have the resources to do so, in some states, MADD advocates can accompany you to the courtroom in drunk driving-related court dates. If your family has been the victim of drunk driving, whether it is an underage drinking case, a repeat adult DUI offender, or any other kind of case, you may not have to face the court--or the offender--alone. In places such as Washington State, courtroom accompaniment services are available should you need it. If this program is not available in your area, ask what kinds of victim services are open to you. You may get some excellent information on community referral programs that can assist you in a time of great difficulty. Underage drinking, teen drunk driving, and other situations that can bring unexpected grief into your life don't have to be handled alone. MADD is there to help.
Did you know that MADD offers many forms of assistance for the victims of drunk driving? MADD can assist victims of drunk drivers in locating emotional support, financial assistance, and help from state or federal agencies. MADD can provide helpful information on where to locate such assistance, especially where veteran's benefits, vocational rehab, and other programs are concerned. If you need such advice, don't hesitate to contact your local MADD chapter for immediate information.
Did you know that MADD actively seeks adults who can function as crisis support for victims of drunk drivers? This is an organization that has activities above and beyond simply pushing for legislation against underage drinking with lowering underage drinking statistics in mind. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers needs volunteers who are willing to be trained as victim advocates. Such training qualifies MADD volunteers to give emotional assistance to stricken families at a moment's notice.
If you are looking for meaningful volunteer work that really does make a difference, consider this challenging and rewarding opportunity. Contact your local MADD chapter for more information.
Did you know that there is no place in the MADD charter for a prohibitionist attitude? MADD.org clearly spells out the position the organization takes on alcohol use.
"MADD urges that those Americans of drinking age who choose to drink do so in a responsible manner, avoiding any driving after drinking."
That statement can be found under MADD's "MADD's Positions on Responsible Marketing and Service " section of the MADD.org website. The reason it's important to point out this position? Many people mistakenly believe that in order to volunteer for the organization, they must adopt a "no alcohol" stance.
MADD is opposed to any form of underage drinking, and is in favor of allowing victims of teen drunk driving to seek damages against bartenders who serve alcohol to minors illegally. If there is one thing MADD is definitely completely opposed to, it is the notion that any responsible adult could get away with violating underage drinking laws.