Drinking and driving Friday will take a life every 72-minutes

Next Friday, March 17th, $5.3 billion dollars will be spent celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 2017; that’s about $38 per celebrant according to a recent report from data provider WalletHub.

But a much higher price will be paid in human life; lost to, or forever changed by traffic crashes involving drunk drivers. And many drivers will end up like 35-year-old Lindsay Marie Degler of St Augustine; the wife of 30-year-old St Johns County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Banks, who had to post a $1,000 appearance bond to get out of jail last Friday.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, March 3rd, Degler passed Trooper Kenneth Montgomery on North Ponce de Leon Boulevard driving 62 m.p.h. in a posted 45 m.p.h. zone. According to the arrest report, Degler was weaving and crossed the lane marker. At about 2:40 a.m., the trooper stopped her. Degler was said to smell of alcohol which got stronger as she spoke. Her eyes were watery, her speech mumbled, her face flushed, and she was unsteady on her feet, the report said. Degler admitted to have been drinking whisky before attempting to drive home.

By the time Degler took a breath analyzer, an hour later, she measured .058, and then, three minutes later, .059 g/210L. Since Degler had a breath-alcohol level more than .05 (but less than .08) Trooper Montgomery considered that evidence along with the video and field sobriety tests in determining that she was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that her normal faculties were impaired.

She must appear before Judge Charles Tinlin in Courtroom 216 at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday April 5, 2017 to learn the consequences of those charges. Degler was also charged with failure to obey a traffic control, requiring a fine of $166, as well as operating her vehicle at an unlawful speed, requiring a fine of $256. She must pay those fines by January 2, 2018.

So, although 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day, if you intend to drink them (or Irish whisky) do not get behind the wheel of an automobile after you have.

We like our readers alive and well and don’t like personal injury lawyers, like Robert “Mac” McLeod, getting rich off of other people’s misery. Let’s let the leprechauns keep the wealth this St Patrick’s Day. Did you know that a leprechaun’s pot of gold, which could contain 1,000 gold coins weighing about 1 ounce each, is worth around $1.22 million dollars?

From the standpoint of cost, you can take an Uber ride from Boston, Massachusetts to Dublin, Ohio for only $3,762 — compare that to a total cost of about $24,000 for a DUI, or motor vehicle crash with a drunk driver.

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