NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The last thing that you may be thinking of during your morning commute is the threat of a drunk driver. You may be shocked to find out that CBS 2 recently uncovered an alarming and potentially deadly new problem on the city’s roads — the morning DUI.
Don Boso survived a run in with a drunk driver during his morning commute.
“The light turned red, I stopped. Light turned green, I went, and that’s all I remember,” Boso recently told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois.
Boso woke up in the hospital, where doctors didn’t think he was going to make it.
“They said they didn’t expect me to survive the first 24 hours,” he said.
Sadly, people continue to get behind the wheel drunk, and some of them are doing it early in the morning. Boso’s accident took place shortly after 6 a.m.
“It’s a new day, you think people have ended their nightly activities. Some haven’t,” he said.
It is a growing problem that many people don’t think about when they are on their way to work or school, but highway patrols say the daytime is becoming prime time for drunk drivers.
CBS 2 recently obtained a dash-cam video of a woman failing a sobriety test at 7 a.m.
“We see people write-off driving conduct in the daytime as, oh, they must not be paying attention of someone who’s unfamiliar with the area. But, if they saw the same driving behavior at night, they would say ‘oh, this person is drunk,'” one state Highway Patrol officer said.
The worst time of the morning for drunk driving is between 6 and 9 a.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Paul Russo’s brother, Vincent, was killed at 8 a.m. on his way to church.
“He left Jane, my sister-in-law, said ‘I’ll see you later.’ He was probably seven or eight minutes away from home when he was hit,” Paul said.
The driver had been arrested for drunk driving in the past, Russo said, and he may have been drinking through the previous night.
“My guess was he was at a bar until about 3; he continued to drink as the night, morning progressed,” Russo said.
The problem stems from people underestimating the way that their bodies handle alcohol, authorities explained.
“A lot of people think, ‘oh, just go and sleep it off a couple of hours. I’ll have something to eat and I’ll be fine,'” Patrol Officer Allison Burstein said.
Depending on your size and weight it can take hours for alcohol to leave your system.
Boso said he hopes that his story will be a wake-up call to motorists.
“I was one of the fortunate ones,” he said.
In May the state Senate passed a law named for Vincent Russo. The law created a new felony charge for people who are convicted of three or more DUIs, and carries the potential for up to 15 years in prison.
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