Drunk driving is dangerous because it kills one person every 52 minutes. When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are incapable of operating a vehicle safely. This is because alcohol and other controlled substances impair judgment, coordination, reaction time, and self-control – all necessary skills for driving a car.
Even below the legal limit of 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood (g/dL), alcohol can lead to a loss of judgment and changes in behavior. For this reason, drivers should not operate a motor vehicle after drinking any amount of alcohol. Instead, they can call a cab or rideshare service, designate a sober driver, or take public transportation.
An adult driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL is 7 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than a sober driver. Even at lower BACs, drivers are 1.4 times more likely to have an accident after consuming one or two 12-ounce beers.
The more you drink, the more likely you are to get into a car accident. In many cases, drunk driving accidents are fatal. In 2019, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents. In 2018, nearly 2,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had low BACs (0.01 to 0.07 g/dL).
Remember, any amount of alcohol can impair, so if you drink, do not get behind the wheel and make a plan to get home safely.
Who Is the Most at Risk?
If you choose to get behind the wheel after drinking, you are putting more than just yourself at risk. Whether they drive drunk or not, teenagers are the most at risk of being injured or killed in a car accident. In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people 15 to 24, and about a quarter of these accidents involve alcohol.
Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are working hard to end drunk and impaired driving to protect families everywhere, but everyone who drives is responsible for being part of the solution.
How Can I Protect Myself from Drunk Drivers?
Your seatbelt is your #1 defense against drunk drivers, so buckle up every time you get into a motor vehicle and make sure all your passengers do so, as well. Lead by example by never drinking and driving and encouraging your friends and family members to do the same. If you notice a loved one has had too much to drink, take away their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home, and if you host, serve alcohol responsibly and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
If you see a drunk driver on the road or suspect that someone is driving under the influence, report the incident to local law enforcement, so the authorities can remove that person from the road.
Your actions both behind the wheel and in all situations that involve alcohol can save someone’s life, including your own. Still, you cannot control other people’s behavior.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, missed wages, and other losses.
You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions alone, and Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can help ensure you don’t have to. We have been putting individuals and families first for more than 20 years, and we are ready to prioritize your needs.
To discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney during a free consultation and learn more about your rights and legal options, please call us at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online today.