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Drunk Driving

Getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks can be dangerous to yourself, pedestrians and other drivers.

Understanding Drunk Driving

3090392251_911be4dfaf_zDriving under the influence (DUI), or impaired driving, refers to drinking alcohol and then operating a motor vehicle.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream. By federal law, at 0.08 percent BAC a driver is incapable of operating a motor vehicle. Critical thinking and fine motor skills begin to drop as early as the first sip.

If you know someone struggling with alcohol abuse, get help today.

Drunk Driving Dangers

Alcohol’s sedative effects impair a driver’s decision-making skills and coordination. An impaired driver lacks the ability to quickly and decisively avoid an accident or even perform routine driving maneuvers. Drunk drivers endanger themselves and everyone on the road, increasing the risk of automobile crashes and deaths.

Alcohol-impaired automobile crashes comprised almost 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in 2012.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Impaired driving doesn’t just affect those in cars. Drunken motorcyclists, boaters and jet-skiiers are all at risk of causing accidents and injuries.

Drunk driving is as prevalent as it is lethal. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 4 million American adults committed an estimated 112 million drunk-driving incidents in 2010 alone. Despite the high volume of drunk driving episodes, only a small percentage of impaired drivers are arrested.

There are almost 300,000 drunk driving incidents in America each day.  Arrests are made in only 0.013 percent of these cases.

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Consequences of Driving Drunk

If someone drives drunk and survives a crash that injures or kills other people, he or she must live with the consequences. That emotional burden can be worse than any bodily harm.

But the physical perils of drunk driving are immense, too. Impaired driving can cause accidents that lead to paralysis, disfigurement, brain damage, and even death.

Impaired driving is also a crime. Drunk drivers often pay significant fines, lose their license and face higher insurance costs. Many convicted drunk drivers serve jail time.

Drunk Driving Statistics

21-25year olds

Young people between the ages of 21 to 25 years old are the most likely to drunk drive.

1/3drunk drivers

Repeat offenders comprise almost one-third of all convicted drunk drivers.


Alcohol-related accidents cost taxpayers $100 billion.

Drunk Driving and Addiction Treatment

Drunk driving may be the symptom of an alcohol addiction. Continuing to drink in spite of a DUI conviction or a stint in jail is often a telltale sign of addiction. Learn how addiction professionals diagnose addiction today.

If you or someone you care about is battling an alcohol addiction, seek help before someone’s worst nightmare becomes a reality. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are available across the country. The first step and call us now.

Sources & Author Last Edited: January 22, 2016

  1. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. "Drinking and Driving." Retrieved May 12, 2015, from:
  2. Chambers M, Liu M and Moore C. "Drunk Driving by the Numbers." Retrieved on May 12, 2015, from:
  3. Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "Statistics." Retrieved on May 12, 2015, from:
  4. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention. "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts." Retrieved on May 12, 2015, from:
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