Drunk driving is a terrible thing to do, but does anyone ever stop to consider the accidents and even deaths that are caused by drunk drivers? The statistics may be shocking. For example, according to an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the fatality rate of alcohol-impaired driving was 30 percent higher than for sober driving. The analysis also found that alcohol contributed to 21 percent of fatal crashes and 31 percent of crash injuries.
In fact, driving under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous thing to do.
So, why is drunk driving dangerous? Why should anyone avoid it? Or, for that matter, why should people try to abstain from alcohol entirely if they plan to drive?
Here are the answers to these questions.
Alcohol increases the risk of being involved in an accident
Because alcohol slows down reactions, drivers that are under the influence of drugs and alcohol may not notice when they drift into another lane or stop sign. Fortunately, most drivers do not want to cause an accident while they are impaired by drugs and alcohol.
However, some people are just oblivious to their surroundings, so even if they feel safe driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, there is still a chance that they might hit another car or be involved in some other accident.
Impairment begins below 0.08 BAC
Many people assume that they can drive a car safely while they are intoxicated by drugs and alcohol, but the truth is that even a small amount of alcohol can impair driving. One study found that drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 BAC or less showed impairment. It’s possible to start feeling the effects of alcohol within minutes of consuming an alcoholic beverage.
You could go to jail
In the majority of states, driving while intoxicated is illegal. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be quite severe, no matter how small the amount of alcohol in your blood is. Depending on where you live and your driving record, you could face jail time or license suspension.
You would be charged large fines or penalties
If you are caught driving while intoxicated, you may be liable to pay fines, fees, and other monetary penalties. These can add up to thousands of dollars in some states. In addition, your insurance may suffer if you have an accident while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.