Saturday, July 2, 2011

UCSD Study Published In The Journal "Addiction" Indicates One Drink Enough To Impair Driving, And Sean Foard Provides Validation In Utah

Sean Foard (via SLCSO)
USA Today reports that a study recently concluded by researchers at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) shows that drinking even a single glass of beer or wine can raise blood-alcohol concentrations enough to increase the chances of being seriously injured or dying in a crash for those who choose to get behind the wheel.

In the study, published online June 20th in the journal Addiction, researchers analyzed national data on fatal car accidents in the United States between 1994 and 2008. The database, obtained from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), is both voluminous and comprehensive; it included 1,495,667 people involved in alcohol-related vehicle mishaps covering all U.S. counties, all days of the week and all times of day, and all reports on blood-alcohol content in increments of 0.01. Thus the sample size and composition seems to be beyond reproach.

Conclusions: No amount of alcohol seemed to be safe for driving. Even with barely detectable amounts of alcohol in a driver's blood, there were 4.33 serious injuries for every non-serious injury versus 3.17 serious injuries for sober drivers. In addition, the study indicated that accidents are 36.6 percent more severe even when alcohol was barely detectable in a driver's blood. Researchers also suggested that there are three ancillary factors that might explain their findings. Comparing sober drivers to those driving with a so-called "buzz", buzzed drivers are more likely to speed, more likely to be improperly seat-belted and more likely to drive the striking vehicle, all of which are associated with greater severity in an accident.

Recommendation: Researchers seem to be sold on the idea that lowering the predominant U.S. threshold of 0.08 for legal intoxication is the answer, citing lower thresholds in Germany (0.05), Japan (0.03) and Sweden (0.02) as supporting justification.

Alas, just one day before the USA Today story was published, 35-year-old Sean Foard provided additional validation for the study in the Salt Lake Valley. On June 30th, Foard triggered a five-vehicle mishap when he ran a red light at the intersection of 5400 South and 2700 West in Taylorsville. Foard was driving west on 5400 South, ran the red light, struck a southbound vehicle on 2700 West, then veered off and struck the vehicle of Cynthia Davis Eyre, which was northbound on 2700 South. Eyre's vehicle then went airborne and hit a fourth vehicle driven by Scott Smith, who was stopped at the red light. A subsequent KSL story states there was a fifth vehicle affected; no additional details provided. KTVX reports that three of the vehicles ended up piled on top of each other and completely crushed. Initial KSL news video embedded below:


Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Sean Foard was initially taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries. He was later released and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of felony automobile homicide, felony DUI causing serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor red light violation. But here's the kicker -- Foard reportedly told investigators that he only had "a couple of drinks of straight vodka" prior to the accident, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. He said he only remembered leaving his house and waking up in the ambulance. However, witnesses in the area report Foard was driving erratically and aggressively before the mishap.

If Foard is telling the truth, then that would tend to validate the UCSD study. Only two drinks may be enough to make you feel "bulletproof" behind the wheel and cause you to drive in a more risky fashion, particularly if it's hard liquor on an empty stomach.

Making DUI thresholds more stringent is not the answer here; instead, punishing egregious violators more severely is necessary. While Foard did not have malice aforethought, he was obviously contemptuous of the public welfare. He may not have intended to take Cynthia Eyre's life -- but he did so anyway. And he cannot resurrect her.

If found guilty on all charges, the most appropriate punishment for Sean Foard would be life in prison WITHOUT PAROLE. We don't have the justification to give Foard's life back to God, but we do have the justification to give Foard's life to the state -- ALL OF IT. Anything less than a natural life sentence for Sean Foard would be contemptuous of the memory of Cynthia Eyre.

19 comments:

Father of Cindy said...

There is no comment on the amount of alcohol in each of his drinks. He was blind stinking drunk in blackout. He appears to not remember how much he drank or how he ended up in the car or driving it. How much alcohol is needed for blackout? This has no indication of a "small" amount of alcohol. He got drunk and went driving and committed a random act of murder.

Anonymous said...

That is sad, but to use this terrible accident is wrong. He blacked out indicating probably a .30 or greater, not a small amount. Drunk driving is not good, but their is no real concrete proof that a little alcohol is worse than texting, talking on the phone, or some other distraction. The conclusions are all without merit, as by the study itself, .01 BAC is safer than .00. These anti alcohol people are no different than nazis.

Anonymous said...

Ok, What people can't seem to get here is that Sean was on a prescription medication that, mixed with alcohol, can cause blackouts. He shouldn't have been driving but I don't think he was as 'drunk' as people have been led to believe.

Cindy's father said...

On Sean Foard's Facebook page, before it was taken down, he had a picture of himself with a sizable gash on his forehead that he laughs off as a result of his "hard-drinking lifestyle". It's one thing for him to injure himself because of being drunk. It's an entirely different thing to kill another as a result of his "hard drinking lifestyle". I would be inclined to say that somebody who brags of his "hard drinking lifestyle" is probably not a good poster boy for light drinking causing some misjudgement. Instead he was speeding, weaving all over the road and tried to leave the scene of the fatal crash he caused. That isn't slightly impaired judgment in my book. Not in the prosecutor's either as he is charged with automobile HOMICIDE. I'm sure he will have plenty of time in prison to think about the well earned consequences of his "hard drinking lifestyle". If he was abusing other drugs too then perhaps additional charges could be forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Is this where the world had ended up? Facebook? Really? We are now taking peoples Facebook pages seriously? I feel sad for everyone...

Anonymous said...

Either way I think that this should stand as an example of why Drunk, Distracted, or Impaired driving is simply not an option. And as sad as it might be taking facebook serriously I cant help but take the fact that he called himself Trainwreck as being valid charecter profiling. If nothing else it shows that he is not just some guy who had a drink and made a mistake. My only hope is that he can somehow learn from this by sitting in prision for the max allowed time wich is 15 years. He deystroyed Cynthia's life so yes I think facebook is valid. And please to anyone who reads this... please dont drink, txt, or do anything else but drive when you get behind the wheel.

Anonymous said...

Prison is a hell, and 15 years is a long time. Most people couldn’t handle one day. Christ died for our sins once. This guy made a horrible mistake indeed, but I’m sure he never meant to destroy anyone’s life. People die by accident all the time. I don’t think we should be so quick to cast stones here. Christ, An innocent person, once died for those who are guilty. Not so we could then judge, hate, and punish senseless people! I not trying to justify his careless actions, I’m just trying to practice a little forgiveness here. None of us really know if this guy is a wicked person or just a stupid person! Only god knows! There is justice at the heart of this universe, but it’s not your justice or the state’s justice… its God’s justice!

Anonymous said...

That last post is the most sensible post I have read here. Thank you,A.

Cind's Father said...

For starters, no one is suggesting that Sean Trainwreck Foard be hanged, drawn and quartered, crucified, burned at the stake or any such. He have a kinder gentler not so brutal society now. We don't cut off a man's arm or hang him for stealing a loaf of bread. He did not commit capital murder so his life isn't at stake here, except for his fellow inmates. It doesn't matter one bit that anybody else was crucified. He is responsible for this act of random murder. It doesn't really matter whether he was stinking drunk and/or bombed out of his mind on drugs and/or terminally stupid. He, and he alone is responsible for aiming and accelerating a 2500 pound 6000 caliber projectile at a crowd of people and committing an act of random murder. That it was 6000 caliber instead of 45 caliber and 2500 pounds instead of a fraction of an ounce means little in this. He was wreckless in the extreme, obviously speeding in order to be able to loft a car half again as massive as his into the air to come down on another car some distance away. He ran a red light and was weaving all over the road. He was not even attempting to act in a responsible matter. If it was your daughter or spouse he had murdered I doubt that you apologists and enablers would be trying to excuse his addict and criminal behavior. Can he be forgiven? That is between him and God. When he truely consciously accepts his full responsibity for this murder and pays the price of stealing perhaps 60 years of life of my daughter and killing the future of my family in the children not yet born, in the end I would expect that he would be forgiven after he clears his karma. He has destroyed so much of my family and his own. He calls himself "Trainwreck". He has wrecked my family and his. On the cover of the memorial service program for my daughter is one of her paintings called KARMA showing the chains of karma with which he, and everybody is bound. It is his task to pay and release this karma and nobody can do it for him.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with father of cindy... and do you realy want people to feel bad for a man who killed someone accident or not. What if he simply got a gun while drunk and it accidently went off realy how is this different? I doubt you would feel as forgiving if it where your wife or daughter. But of you realy pitty this man getting 15 years over the pain he has caused to cindys family and his own even then i think you need to realy look at the society you now live in.

Anonymous said...

Life in prison for this?! Really? Utah is a state that generally gives child molesters a slap on the wrist unless they are "high-profile", and yet you judgmental people want to essentially throw away this man's life because his medication interacted with alcohol? You people sicken and disgust me, particularly the "father of Cindy". You do not deserve to have a breath left in you, almost taking a sense of pride in the fact that this man destroyed his life. And to assault him because of a nickname? Honestly, what he did in the past, the name he goes by, doesn't hold a bearing here. I'm sure if we dug through your past, we would be able to find enough dirt to make you want to hang yourself.

Yes, society is a horrible thing, but it's not because of people like Sean, it's because of self-righteous people like all of you. If there is a Hell, I can assure you, you will burn there before Sean does.

Father of Cindy said...

The results were in at the hearing yesterday. Sean "Trainwreck" (self identified nickname) Foard had a blood alcohol level of 0.29, almost 4 times the legally drunk level, 3 hours after the wreck. So his "couple of drinks" turns out to be in excess of half a fifth of vodka or thereabouts. No other drugs were found by toxicology tests though I don't know that they were testing for the universe of all possible prescriptions. I imagine if his attorney deems it relevent, that his prescription drugs will come out at his trial, if he choose to have one. Of course with a blood alcohol level of 0.29 no other drugs are necessary to explain his state; blind stinking drunk does that very well in the vernacular though not a technical term. The anonymous poster who appears to be an enabler, probably co-dependent as well, who doesn't like that I both identify myself and am not thrilled with this drunken automotive homicide Sean Foard committed could at least get their facts straight. His driving was so atrocious that some were already calling 911 to report it before the wreck. All of this is now a matter of public record. Tell yourself all the stories you want with imaginary "facts". In court these will not be the ones that count. If any extenuating circumstances are present I imagine the judge and jury will be informed.

" particularly the "father of Cindy". You do not deserve to have a breath left in you,... Yes, society is a horrible thing, but it's not because of people like Sean, it's because of self-righteous people like all of you. If there is a Hell, I can assure you, you will burn there before Sean does. ... And to assault him because of a nickname? ... throw away this man's life because his medication interacted with alcohol? ... I'm sure if we dug through your past, we would be able to find enough dirt to make you want to hang yourself. ... almost taking a sense of pride in the fact that this man destroyed his life"


Really now, what have I ever done to you or Sean that I deserve death and burning in hell. That kind of reasoning is deeply flawed. In fact your use of the word "pride", desiring I burn in hell for not appreciating what he has done and assumptions that everybody has enough dirt in their past to make them want to suicide all strike me as rather bizarre assumptions about people. It actually sounds like you are threatening me. I certainly have not assaulted him in any way. I have only pointed out some facts of the drunken homicide (automotive) of my daughter and of his self chosen nickname. I think you confuse me with somebody else with different beliefs and a different life. I have no control or influence on anything affecting Sean. As I agree with the national consensus that drunken driving homicide is a bad idea I think the legal system will likely handle it adequately whether you or I agree with what it does.

I would much rather that he hadn't done this. Honestly, I care much more that he killed my daughter than whatever he has done to his own life which is his responsibility and concern. And it is sad what he has done indirectly to his own family by this drunken homicide. He has changed their lives and made certain truths about himself impossible to hide from them and his friends. His estimated speed was 72mph based on the kinetics and other forensics. So as I said at the start, with a 0.29 blood alcohol level he is no poster boy for light drinking causing an error in judgement which was what this journal article was about in the first place. He is a better example of why heavy drinking and driving is a very bad idea. As far as anybody burning in hell, I doubt it. Hell is selfcreated as Sean has demonstrated. I am not so dumb as to attach myself to his hell or yours.

Anonymous said...

And yet... the DUI charges were dropped.

Cindy's father said...

Well, anonymous, Have confidence in the prosecutor to put together the case that results in the most prison time. In automotive homicide cases the lessor charges that won't increase the sentence are often dropped to make for a smaller, less expensive and easier case. I'm was not aware that there was ever a DUI charge filed in the first place either, so saying it was "dropped" may not be accurate. In any case the prosecution for automotive homicide will be some time next year as it can be scheduled. That is really the only issue as the other factors such as exactly how drunk he was or exactly how fast he was driving don't change the fact that he killed Cindy. Let's not get distracted grasping at straws to try to explain that away.

Cindy's father said...

Sean Foard's trial scheduled to start today was canceled as he plead guilty to automotive homicide. I don't know what other charges if any were included. Sentencing will be in 45-60 days after a pre-sentencing report is completed. I'm sure that he and his lawyer had their resaons for not going to trial, not the least of which is that there was no question at all as to whether he had in fact killed her with his car. Personally I'm relieved that I didn't have to sit through a trial and hear precisely how he killed my daughter. He may be relieved that all the damning evidence didn't come out at the trial such as his statement of "sweet" to the officer (pre-trial hearing) when informed that he had killed somebody on the way to his girl friend's house (pre-trial) or exactly how much straight vodka (perhaps 12 ounces or so) he drank before driving off in his car. I'm sure he is quite sober now and for the next 14 years or whatever his sentence ends up.

As I said in my first post to this blog, he is not a good poster boy for light drinking causing impaired judgment.

Anonymous said...

I was scheduled to testify at Sean's hearing today, before the case was settled. In the pictures you see of the accident, that's my silver Mustang, the one that Cindy's car landed on. Had it been two feet higher it would have gone through my windshield. I was the first to get to Cindy and attempt to resucitate her. I had the privilege of speaking with Cindy's husband on the phone after the accident. In saying all of this I feel I have some emotional investment in this case. Certainly not as much as Cindy's father or others of her family, but some. The last time I saw Sean after the accident was at the pre-trial hearing. I could not believe the difference. He had lost a significant amount of wait and was as beaten down as anyone I have seen. Now I'm certainly not condoning what he did and I feel that he deserves whatever punishment is coming to him by the courts, but I saw a man who was already in hell, perhaps deservedly so. He will live with what he did for the rest of his life, just as everyone else involved will. I was surprised to actually feel sorry for him. It won't change things for him much whether we choose to forgive, but it will affect our own lives. If we choose to keep the hatred in our hearts then we are as much in prison as he is. I'm still working on it, but I think I'll get there.

Cindy;'s father said...

Thankyou for speaking up anonymous. This is like a classic Greek tragedy. Through a character flaw he killed my daughter, instead of like Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother, killed off my future grandchildren and a major part of the chance that my family will survive past those now alive. He killed the person who was going to take care of me in old age and perhaps the only person besides me that could care for my persnickity parrot who will likely outlive me by 20-30 years. He killed one of the more gifted young artists of her generation before she had a chance to do her life's work, a young wife taking care of a disabled husband. Further he removed himself from his wife and child (children?) for the next decade and a half or whatever his sentence is. He is costing us as taxpayers $30,000+ a year for his care and feeding and likely impovershed his family. It's a tragedy all the way around. I'm not going to get involved in hating him as that cost is far higher than I care to pay. I don't care to join him in his self created hell. I spent 20 years of her young life imprisioned in illness and robbed by the illness of even most of my memories of Cindy. I was barely getting to know her during my recovery. I hope he somehow comes to the full realization of the enormity of what he did though that might not be easy without the memory he says he doesn't have.

Cindy's father said...

Today was the wrap on this whole sad episode. Sean was sentenced to 1-14 years in prison, the actual length determined by if and when he gets out on parole as determined by a parole board. I hope this gives him the incentive and possibility to change himself for the better. This whole thing is a tragedy with no "winners".

Anonymous said...

In 1996 one of Sean's friends, my son, was killed by a drunk driver. He knew what could happen. Drunk driving is not an accident, so sad......