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The Dangers of Drinking and Driving

The Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Driving a motor vehicle requires a lot of focus and attention. Even a small amount of alcohol can take away your focus. What happens next? A crash or accident! If you have been hit and injured by a person who has been drinking and driving, you should be ready to contact a personal injury lawyer.

About one person every 39 minutes gets fatally involved in drunk-driving crashes. More often than not, these deaths are preventable.

Especially when someone decides to drive after consuming alcohol, the simple truth is alcohol should not be mixed with driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the highest risk factors for road accidents.

This blog will get into more detail about how alcohol affects our driving abilities. And also what you should do in case you get involved in a drunk-driving crash.

Impaired Driving: Understanding the Effects of Alcohol

Consuming too much alcohol will affect our body. Even the simple task of walking can already be affected. Because driving is a more focus-oriented action, it can be affected even more.

Here are some of the effects of alcohol that we need to know about:

1. Impaired abilities

Consuming alcohol leads to a driver’s impaired abilities. Once alcohol is in your body, it will slow down your nervous system. You won’t think or act normally as you do. Your hand-eye coordination will be affected. Because you are not operating at your optimal ability, you can forget about the fast reaction time that is often required when you are driving.

2. Increased risk of accidents

Alcohol in your system can lead to accidents if you decide to drive. You will be overconfident in your driving skills. You might think you can still handle it. But your body can’t. Unfortunately, one wrong move could steer you into an accident.

The BAC or Blood Alcohol Content will determine how intoxicated you are. Drivers with a BAC of .08 are approximately four times more likely to crash than drivers with a BAC of zero. At a BAC of .15, drivers are at least 12 times more likely to crash. This happens because you already have slowed reaction time and impaired coordination.

 3. Loss of life

Families grapple with the harsh realities of drunk driving: A young child losing a parent. A spouse left alone. A dream career cut short. Teens and young adults are particularly at risk – 27% of young drivers aged 15 to 20 who perished in crashes had been drinking.

As for the survivors? They’ll probably have devastating injuries. This could be spinal cord damage. Others might experience traumatic brain injuries. It may even lead to amputations. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment. Rehabilitation and ongoing care will be part of the victim’s life for the long term.

 4. Emotional trauma

Drunk driving crashes cause not only physical harm. It also leads to emotional trauma. The families of victims suffer immense grief. They’ll feel angry. At times, guilt or hopelessness in the situation. What about the drunk drivers themselves? They’ll be struggling to accept the guilt.

Legal Repercussions of Drunk Driving

Most states have Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws that set a legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit. In most cases, the limit is .08 BAC, though some states have stricter limits.

The penalties will vary and are dependent on numerous factors. Among the things taken into consideration are your BAC level and whether or not you have prior offenses. And any accidents caused can result in fines or penalties, such as:

● Fines: Expect hefty fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
● Jail Time: Depending on the severity of the accident, jail time may be minimal or non-existent for a first offense. However, repeat offenses or DUIs causing accidents can result in significant jail time.
● License Suspension or Revocation: Your driver’s license will likely be suspended or revoked, this is often dependent on the severity of your offense.
● Mandatory Programs: Court-ordered alcohol education or rehabilitation programs may be required.

Increased Insurance Costs:

A DUI conviction significantly increases your car insurance rates, potentially making it difficult or expensive to maintain coverage.

Other Legal Issues:

Depending on the circumstances, a DUI can lead to additional legal issues like child endangerment charges if driving with minors present.
Serious accidents involving a DUI can result in wrongful death lawsuits or other civil penalties.

Remember: These are just general consequences. Specific laws and penalties vary by state.

As for the specifics of the penalties and legal proceedings, it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer. Seek professional help – this is one way to ensure you get the justice you deserve from some drunk person’s reckless behavior.

Alternatives to Drinking and Driving

There is always a way to prevent driving a vehicle after a night of drinking. The key is to plan when you’re still sober. Think about the safest way you or your friend can go home after consuming alcohol. Here are some ways:

Designate a driver

Going out drinking? You better plan who’s going to drive after you’ve had a couple of bottles. Have someone who will be in charge of driving later. Ideally, the designated driver must not drink alcohol. They need to stay sober so they can drive you and the rest of your party safely to your destination.

Call a rideshare service

A safer route would be to avoid driving or bringing a vehicle when you’re planning on drinking. Consider leaving your car at home and calling a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. Leaving your car at home insures that no one in your party who has been drinking gets behind the wheel and puts others at risk. 

Public transportation

Better yet, for your safety, take public transportation—whether that’s a bus or a train. At least you only have to navigate your way through the station or terminal.

Have You Been Involved in a DUI Incident?

If you or someone you know was a victim of a drunk driver in Atlanta or Chicago, seek legal advice from a reputable personal injury lawyer. Hampton and Hampton is a law firm that knows the legal remedies, helping you get fair compensation and justice for what the drunk driver did you wrong.

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