It’s easy to avoid drinking and driving

Jackie Faircloth was permanently disabled after being hit by a drunk driver. Photo courtesy Capitol News Service

In 2014, a drunk driver hit and severely injured Jackie Faircloth, an 18-year-old crossing an intersection near Florida State University’s campus.

Faircloth sustained permanent disabilities from the crash and is now living in an assisted care facility.

Her family successfully sought damages from the local bars involved in providing alcohol to the underage driver and their daughter. The bars involved are Potbelly’s and Cantina 101, which is no longer in business. The family was awarded more than $30 million last month to help pay for Faircloth’s long-term care.

“She can move her arm either left or right for yes or no if you pick up her arm,” Jackie’s cousin Katie told WCTV.

College students are advised to not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have consumed any alcohol. The best method to avoid a DUI is to have a designated driver.

Some modern forms of transportation are Uber and Lyft. The ride-sharing services are available 24 hours a day. It is also best to consider the lives and safety of anyone sharing the roads.

Potbelly’s owner Dan Gilbertson released a statement to WTXL when the verdict was reached: “This is a tragic issue. Throughout this unfortunate process we have witnessed the incredible support, love, and dedication a family is capable of showing to a loved one who has sustained such devastating injuries. However, we believe the law was misapplied, the jury reached the wrong conclusion in this matter, and we will appeal the verdict. Out of respect for Jacquelyn Faircloth and her family, we have no further comment at this time.”

Lamar Lane, a FAMU graduate, said he avoided drinking and driving during his undergrad experience. “I knew not to drive on a wild night because my future depends on it. I have been pulled over many times but never while under the influence. Always leave your car keys behind and arrange who the designated driver will be for the night. This is one of the safest methods,” he said.

Anthony Turner, also a FAMU alum, avoids a DUI by carpooling with friends.

“Uber and Lyft can be pretty expensive after a party or the club. If you can’t afford it I advise calling someone you trust,” said Turner.

A DUI checkpoint is legal in Florida and it assists in preventing accidents and injuries. Officers follow a procedure to determine if a driver is impaired while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers will be briefly detained and interviewed if officers have reasonable suspicion. The locations are always random, and an officer does not need a reason to have you pull you car over at the designated checkpoints.

Flashing illuminating lights have been installed at cross walks around the city to improve pedestrian visibility. If the sensor senses an object moving within range of a cross walk, the lights will begin illuminating until the pedestrian has successfully cleared the pathway. This is a method of raising awareness that has been adopted throughout the state.

In efforts to bring more awareness on making the right decisions, installing modern apps can also assist in determining state of sobriety.  A few easily found in the app store are DrinkTracker, Intoxicheck or BreathalEyes.  With the help of these applications an individual can keep track of blood and alcohol, reaction times and memory throughout the night.