If you are one of the many who stayed up last night to ring in the New Year then you might be grabbing for extra coffee this morning. Before you drink too much, we thought we would bring this case to your attention. Here in my lovely home state of California, a man named Joseph Schwab has been charged with driving under the influence of a drug. The drug being none other than caffeine, yes caffeine.
You can read the details of the case in the article written by attorney, Steve Lehto who specializes in Lemon Law, here. Mr. Schwab’s case has been going on since August 5, 2015, when he was pulled over by a California alcoholic beverage control agent in an unmarked car. The agent claimed Schwab’s driving indicated he was under the influence of something.
I can recall a similar situation, where an acquaintance of mine with a commercial driver’s license was being detained at the scales in California and determined to be “under the influence”. At the time the driver had taken large amounts of “No-Doz” to stay awake. Much like Mr. Schwab’s case, it took an actual blood test to determine what the truck driver was on since a breathalyzer and other tests came up negative. That case, back in the early ‘90’s ended up being dismissed.
Many of the cases I handle involve automobile accidents, both personal and commercial. I started out researching the actual statistics of the number of auto accidents on weekends versus mid-week, but as so often happens, I was diverted on the Internet highway to the history of the “Sunday Drive”.
The Sunday drive tradition has it’s roots in the U.S. and New Zealand and actually began long before automobiles. Back in the horse and buggy days when families took Sunday’s off to attend church and then took their time heading home or would take advantage of the light work day to “sight see”. This tradition became even more entrenched during the beginning of the automobile era in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The idea was that automobile’s were not used for commuting or errands, but for pleasure. So much so that eventually “Parkways” were constructed for “recreational” driving and excluded trucks and other heavy vehicles, many were strictly roads that went through the scenic route to a destination.
How many movie plots in the past center around driving for pleasure, too many to count. The movies go back decades, and I found hundreds of sites on the web with the “Top Driving Movies”. I found this one to be pretty cool for its’ diversity, The 29 Greatest Car Movies Ever. At this time, the only thing that seems to have an effect on driving for pleasure is the price of gas. Gas rationing in the 70’s definitely had an effect as did the incredibly fast rising gas price of the mid 2000’s, when the average price rose as high as $4.85 a gallon. We tend to park our fun little gas guzzlers when the prices get so high.
On the eve of this “driving holiday” known as Thanksgiving, I pray you’ll be safe and have some fun with your family. I am really glad the cost of a gallon of gas is not $4.85 a gallon. Maybe you can take advantage of gas prices and consider taking the “scenic route” home. Here is a list of America’s Most Scenic Roads.