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Every day, motorists are arrested for driving under the influence. When you drink, do drugs, or participate in any activity that may make you less than coherent behind the wheel, you are endangering yourself, your future, and those with whom you share the road. Driving under the influence can lead to more than just the DUI charge itself, if you injure someone, you may be facing serious jail time.

In Hillsboro, Keith Buehler, a 17 year old drunk driver, was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and possession of an illegal synthetic drug, after he allegedly ran a red light this past summer, killing two individuals. Crash investigators determined that the teen was driving between 81 and 90 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone when he struck the car of Raymond and Carolyn McClean. Both were killed instantly, and Buehler suffered severe injuries. Buehler had a red light at the time of the accident.

All states have now lowered the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from .10 to .08, and have zero tolerance for any individuals under 21 with alcohol in their blood system. Roadside tests can further determine if the driver is under the influence of any other intoxicating substance that may be undetectable to the officer’s BAC measuring devices. Penalties for driving under the influence have increased too, with some state legislatures requiring mandatory jail time for repeat convictions, increased length of license suspension, and longer waiting periods for hardship licenses.

Although laws differ from state to state, the nature of driving under the influence remains the same. No one who drinks should get behind the wheel and drive; the potential of injuring yourself, or those on the road, is much too great to risk. Many taxi providers, tow companies, and other car services, are available for those would-be drunk drivers. If you are going to drink, plan ahead, and make sure you, and all those around you, get home safe, and sound.

Lindsay Rakers

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