On July 19th at approximately 5am, motorcyclist, Ryan Willis Jones, age 30, was riding eastbound on the Bay Bridge was side swiped by driver of a car, Daniel Francisco Olivera, age 31, of Oakland. As he was changing lanes, his car hit the rear of Ryan’s motorcycle. Ryan was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he pronounced dead. Daniel was suspected of drunk driving and he was arrested and booked at San Francisco County Jail, according to CHP Officer A. Paulson.
After we read this information in our local newspaper, we, here at the Brod Law Firm, collectively wondered how this particular driver, or anyone for that matter, could consider driving while under the influence of alcohol. We wondered why–after being inundated over the years by all the ad campaigns that show the catastrophic consequences of drunk driving, such as those telling us “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk“; and after having witnessed all the efforts of organizations like M.A.D.D. (Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers) who, since the 1980’s, have worked tirelessly with the help of educators, government, corporations and media on promoting personal responsibility against drunk driving; or after having witnessed our law makers pass laws that are extremely harsh on drunk drivers–people still risk driving drunk? We then concluded that maybe the public has forgotten the legal limits of alcohol allowed in the body when driving a vehicle and/or forgotten what exactly can happen if they are caught driving drunk. So we thought we could help re-educate the public by reminding anyone reading this of some of the basic information they should know regarding drinking and driving.
In a guide put out by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) titled The ABC’s of BAC: A Guide to Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Alcohol Impairment, blood alcohol concentration, (BAC) is explained in detail. We feel some important facts to know about BAC are:
• The amount of alcohol measured in a person’s body is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood, which is known as BAC. Every State has passed a law making it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.
•Alcohol is quickly absorbed and can be measured within 30 to 70 minutes after a person has had a drink.
• The type of alcohol you drink does not affect your BAC, meaning a typical drink equals about half an ounce of alcohol (.54ounces). This is the approximate amount of alcohol found in:
o one shot of distilled spirits, or o one 5-ounce glass of wine, or o one 12-ounce beer.
• Because of the multitude of factors that affect BAC, it is very difficult to assess your own BAC or impairment.
• Though small amounts of alcohol affect one’s brain and ability to drive, people often swear they are “fine” after several drinks – but in fact, the failure to recognize alcohol impairment is often a symptom of impairment.
We consider this information extremely useful for anyone thinking about driving after drinking. However, the best way to stay safe after drinking is not to drive. It is better to call a taxi or designate a non-drinking friend as a driver. Otherwise, the consequences of driving drunk can result in tragedy like this one. No one wants to be arrested or be responsible for the death of another.
We feel for the victim’s family of this terrible motorcycle accident and hope they receive the support they need during this difficult time. We also thought this would be a good opportunity to remind our readers that motorcyclists have the same rights as drivers of cars. According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists were about 35 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and 8 times more likely to be injured. We believe the reason this is so is because motorcycles are not always easily seen by drivers of cars. Drivers should never forget to pay attention and watch for motorcycles on the road. Motorcyclists deserve the same courtesy as drivers of cars. Unfortunately, the most experienced motorcyclist can sometimes end up in a tragic accident, such as this one, due to the negligence of another.