Getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks can be dangerous to yourself, pedestrians and other drivers.
Understanding Drunk Driving
Driving 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.
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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.
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
Young people between the ages of 21 to 25 years old are the most likely to drunk drive.
Repeat offenders comprise almost one-third of all convicted drunk drivers.
Alcohol-related accidents cost taxpayers $100 billion.
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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.
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