What Are the Dangers of Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States that causes countless deaths and injuries every year. Not only is it dangerous for the person who gets behind the wheel after drinking, but it also puts other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in jeopardy.
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Impaired Driving Can Lead to Accidents That Injure or Kill Other Drivers and Pedestrians
The primary danger of impaired driving is that it can cause accidents that can seriously injure other people. These accidents often result in severe, long-lasting injury or death.
Alcohol impairs a person’s motor skills, concentration, reaction time and vision. This impairment can make it difficult to drive safely and even dangerous for other drivers who are sober.
Those who are drunk or under the influence of drugs may experience a wide range of side effects, from nausea to seizures and even permanent brain damage. Those who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse are at greater risk for impaired driving and should be treated immediately.
In addition, drinking can negatively impact other areas of a person’s life. It can affect relationships and family members, employment opportunities, financial situations, insurance rates and more.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 10 percent of all fatal car crashes involve a drunk driver (a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher). In addition, the cost of these accidents to tax payers is over $44 billion each year.
Drinking and Driving is a Criminal Offense
If you are found to be driving while under the influence of alcohol, you will be arrested for a DUI or DWI. These crimes come with many legal and financial consequences, including revocation of your driver’s license. Some states also require jail time and other penalties.
What Are the Laws?
Most states have strict drunk driving laws that can include jail time, fines and loss of your driver’s license. Some of these laws also mandate ignition interlock devices or ignition locks.
It is illegal to drink and drive in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These laws are designed to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents.
Young Drivers Are Most at Risk for Drunk Driving
In a 1999 survey of adults, nearly two-thirds of the respondents said that they believed it was at least somewhat likely that they would be stopped by police, arrested and convicted if they drove after drinking too much. These responses suggest that young drivers are not fully aware of the risks of drunk driving and do not consider them to be a serious issue.
While the number of drunk driving accidents has decreased in recent years, they still remain a serious threat to the safety of both the driver and others on the road. As a result, it is important to educate yourself about the dangers of drunk driving and avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. It’s always better to take a ride with a sober friend, or find a designated driver and stay home.