If you choose to drink and drive, you face many risks on the road in the winter. However, street racing makes drinking and driving even more dangerous. And you don’t need to be a part of the race to experience those dangers. Find out why winter street racing in New Jersey makes drinking and driving so dangerous.
The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
For most individuals, the risks of drinking and driving are obvious. Alcohol impairs your ability to drive. More specifically, alcohol can cause you to make some bad decisions. In addition to affecting your decision-making skills, it also affects your perception. You might think that something is closer or further away than it actually is.
Despite the dangers of drinking and driving, people still do it. Usually, that results in a bad outcome. In some cases, the driver gets a DUI. In other cases, the driver causes an accident. But some individuals do make it home safely. That said, winter street racing makes that outcome unlikely. When you drive drunk in the winter during street races, you have little chance of getting home safely. The risk of a serious accident is high.
Winter road conditions make driving more dangerous. In addition to dealing with typical driving dangers, you also have to deal with icy roads. One false move and you could spin out. If you’re driving drunk at night, then seeing ice patches is almost impossible. Likewise, snow banks and other winter hazards are harder to see when you’re drunk. While a sober individual might be able to handle the conditions, your impairment makes that difficult.
Winter Street Racing
In New Jersey, winter street racing is a major problem. If you go to the Newark Bay area, you might hear the sound of Volkswagon, Honda, and Mitsubishi cars as they rev their engines. Street racing was a common occurrence in the area. However, the races slowed down after the police cracked down on the racers. Now, it seems like street racing is becoming popular again.
There were a few incidents that fueled the Newark police to crack down on the races. In 2007, a police sergeant was hit and killed by a street racer. It started when the officer arrested a 22-year-old for drag racing. Prior to his arrest, the young man threw a gun out of his vehicle. As the officer went to retrieve the gun, the man sat in the back of a police car with handcuffs on. However, he escaped and climbed into the front of the car. When he drove off, he crashed into the sergeant’s vehicle. At only 33 years of age, the officer died and left behind two children and his wife.
After that incident, the police took drag racing more seriously. They put speed bumps in the area. Although the truckers complained, the police hoped the obstacles would prevent races. They did manage to shorten the distance of the races but didn’t stop them completely. Drivers could still race along part of the road. However, low vehicles had a hard time with the speed bumps.
Street Racing Comes Back
The drag racing didn’t end. In a more recent event, an officer wrote someone a ticket for drag racing. While he did, the officer was dragged and thrown off a vehicle. Although he survived the incident, he had injuries. The police found the driver and arrested him. However, the incident reminded officers of the gravity of street races.
In response, the police cracked down on the races. In only two weekends, they wrote 192 traffic summonses. Hidden in undercover vehicles, the police are out there.
What Are The Risks?
There are two main risks of drunk driving in the winter during street races. First, there’s the risk of a DUI. In an attempt to stop street racing, the police have more undercover cops on the road. This means that there are more officers who can find you driving dangerously. If they suspect that you are drunk driving, then they will pull you over. Street racing or not, your driving will get their attention. When they find out that you are drunk, you may end up with a DUI.
Although a DUI comes with strict penalties, there is a worse outcome. You could end up in an accident with a street racer. While racing, drivers act negligently. They fail to follow the rules of the road. In the winter, the conditions make this particularly dangerous. If the roads are icy, then they could crash into you at a high speed. Even driving sober is dangerous when there is a street race.
Driving drunk during a speed race makes an accident more life-threatening. When you drink and drive, you have a slow reaction time. While sober, someone might be able to avoid a collision with a racer. However, alcohol makes that difficult. You may not be able to react in time to avoid the vehicle.