Who is Affected by Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is a major cause of death and injury on the road. Alcohol affects the brain and slows reaction time. It can also impair coordination, causing problems with vision, hearing, and reasoning. In addition, drinking and driving can lead to severe physical injuries. Some injuries are permanent and can require surgery and therapy.
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Whether you are a driver or a passenger, alcohol-related crashes can be dangerous. In New York State, for instance, one person dies every 30 minutes from an alcohol-impaired driving crash. This means that more than 10,000 people are killed by drunk drivers annually. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent drunk driving from occurring.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks and researches drunk driving. One study found that a “typical” drunk driver is a young male with a binge drinking history. A binge drinker is defined as someone who consumes five or more drinks on a single occasion. These binge drinkers are at higher risk for harmful side effects and are involved in two-thirds of all drunk driving incidents.
The CDC reports that the highest risk for a crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver is for drivers under the age of twenty. This is particularly true in the Midwest and South. Younger people are less likely than older people to be wearing seat belts.
In addition, a majority of drunk driving fatalities occur in the evening and summer months. Moreover, drunk driving is prohibited in all fifty states. Across the country, there are over thirty thousand people killed in drunk driving accidents each year. To help combat this problem, states can increase the number of sobriety checkpoints and tax alcohol. Additionally, there are specialized treatment centers that offer addiction therapy for those who have a history of alcohol abuse. If you have a loved one who is a drinker, you can visit BetterHelp.org to learn more about how to cope with a drinking problem.
According to the CDC, nearly one million high school teens admitted to drinking and driving in 2011. However, this number has declined significantly over the last few years. Approximately 4.2 million Americans admit to driving while intoxicated in the last month.
While these numbers are staggering, they do not tell the whole story. Other factors are involved in drunk driving crashes, such as secondhand effects. Another common factor is that low blood alcohol levels can make it difficult to identify risks in the road environment. That may be why drivers sometimes drive under the influence when they think they are not.
Drivers can use a breath test to detect the amount of alcohol in their system. If they are over the legal BAC limit, they can be arrested and face a fine of up to $10,000. They can also be required to wear an ignition interlock device.
Those who have a prior DUI conviction are the most at risk of getting into a fatal crash. Likewise, people who do not usually wear seat belts are more likely to get into a drunk driving accident.