Drive Hammered Get Nailed

Drive Hammered Get Nailed!

Law enforcement agencies in Washington State adopted, “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” as a Driving Under the Influence ad campaign. In part this is a lie. Drive Hammered, Get Nailed sends an improper message to the citizens of Washington State. Washington State does not enforce a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) criminal law. Washington enforces a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) criminal law. The former implies the driver must be drunk, intoxicated or hammered. The latter merely requires a driver to be impaired. The driver, after consuming intoxicants, must be affected to an appreciable degree.

It is a fine line, but the general public would agree there is a difference between being “buzzed” and being intoxicated, drunk or hammered. Below are the results of a Google search of “define:intoxication”:

Definitions of intoxication on the Web

• poisoning: the physiological state produced by a poison or other toxic substance
• drunkenness: a temporary state resulting from excessive consumption of alcohol
• excitement and elation beyond the bounds of sobriety; "the intoxication of wealth and power" Princeton
• Drunkenness, in its most common usage, is the state of being intoxicated with alcohol (i.e. ethanol) to a sufficient degree to impair mental and motor functioning. Wikipedia
• The state of being under the influence of a substance. (1,2,3,4) Odyssey Center
• The condition of being drunk. An abnormal state that is essentially alcohol poisoning. It is characterized by slurred speech and a loss of coordination. Science Education
• Literally, a state of being poisoned or drugged; a condition produced by use (abuse) of toxic drugs, alcohol, barbiturates, and so forth. Addiction Rehabilitation
• Being under the influence of, and responding to, the acute effects of a psychoactive drug. Intoxication typically includes feelings of pleasure, altered emotional responsiveness, altered perception, and impaired judgment and performance. Addiction Studies
• Poisoning. A state of being tainted with toxins, particularly those produced by microorganisms that have infected food. Gluten Freeda Glossary
• A criminal defense that generally requires that the intoxication be involuntary. IEJS Glossary
• One of the several terms used to describe the degradation of driving ability and other faculties due to ingestion of alcohol or other drugs. The term usually connotes very easily observable and severe effects of alcohol, and often is used inter-changeably with the word "drunk." However, "intoxication" sometimes has a quasi-legal connotation as well and may be linked with a specific level of BAC. LAPD

There is a mixture of results from impaired to drunk. Further support indicates there is a difference between drunk and impaired. Below is information from trusted sources such as, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the American Medical Association, the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, and WebMD. Washington State’s legal limit is 0.08.

Blood Alcohol
Concentration (BAC)1
Typical Effects
Predictable Effects on Driving
  • Some loss of judgment
  • Relaxation
  • Slight body warmth
  • Altered mood


  • Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target)
  • Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)
  • Exaggerated behavior
  • May have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes)
  • Impaired judgment
  • Usually good feeling
  • Lowered alertness
  • Release of inhibition
  • Reduced coordination
  • Reduced ability to track moving objects
  • Difficulty steering
  • Reduced response to emergency driving situations


  • Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing)
  • Harder to detect danger
  • Judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired
  • Concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Speed control
  • Reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search)
  • Impaired perception


  • Clear deterioration of reaction time and control
  • Slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking
  • Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately


  • Far less muscle control than normal
  • Vomiting may occur (unless this level is


  • Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information
1 Information in this table shows the BAC level at which the effect usually is first observed, and has been gathered from a variety of sources including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the American Medical Association, the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, and WebMD.

The typical indicators of an individual that is drunk, intoxicated or hammered are found in the 0.10 and above range. However, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle at just 0.08. If you are driving buzzed in Washington State, chances are you are in violation of the DUI criminal statute.

Drive Hammered, Get Nailed is a lie. Do not trust this ad campaign. You will be arrested for DUI by operating a motor vehicle before becoming hammered. I formally prosecuted and defended individuals charged with DUI. Some of these individuals were arrested and criminally charged for DUI with BAC levels of only 0.03. Drive Hammered, Get Nailed is a lie. Do not rely upon this government sponsored advertisement.

It is offensive that Washington State Law Enforcement agencies support this advertising slogan, and it is abhorrent Washington State taxes pay for this deceptive campaign. It begs the question: Is our government really interested in preventing DUI? A DUI generates massive revenue for many interested parties. An individual convicted of DUI will on average pay $20,000.00 from the time of their arrest until the termination of probation. There are 47,000 DUI arrests annually in Washington State. That equates to high revenues.

If our government really was interested in preventing DUI and the death and destruction it causes our government would require Ignition Interlock Devices as standard equipment for every vehicle operated on the roadways across the entire United States.

1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2388
Seattle, Washington 98154