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Driving while drunk is known by various names when charged in the various States. The violation is known as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while impaired. Except Utah, all US States and Washington DC set the legal limit of blood alcohol level at .08%. Utah sets the level at the lowest, .05% The reality is that any amount of alcohol can impair your reflexes and thus your ability to drive safely.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) impairment from alcohol begins after the first alcoholic beverage. At a blood alcohol level of 0.02%, less than 2 drinks, there is already altered judgement, effects on eyesight and the ability to concentrate. At the Utah level of 0.05%, less than three alcoholic drinks, the body is already beginning to lose muscle control, the ability to track moving targets is reduced, leading to the inability to react and steer in an emergency.
As the blood alcohol level rises, the abilities of the driver decrease significantly. T four drinks and a blood alcohol level of 0.08% the driver is legally drunk; all senses are now impaired. Sight, hearing, reasoning, muscle coordination speech and self-control are all reduced to levels that make it unfit to operate a vehicle or any other machine when the blood alcohol level reaches 0.08%.
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It doesn’t take much to reach the legal limit for driving, a 160-pound male after 4 drinks in an hour is incapable of driving. We all know the consequences of drunk driving, everyday someone has a few drinks and gets in the car and drives. Aside from the costs associated with drunk driving, there is a significant societal cost. Every year in the USA tens of thousands of lives are affected by the drunk drivers.
After years of decline, 2015 had 10, 265 reported deaths, with predictions that the number will increase for 2016 once all the data is compiled. That is a staggering number of deaths from drunk driving, and the injury and permanent disabilities caused by drunk drivers is equally abhorrent. Motor vehicles are not the only mode of transportation that is affected by drunk drivers, the US Government estimates that there are over 150 deaths per year from drunk drivers in boats and on jet skis.
Personal Consequences of Drunk Driving
When a drunk driver is pulled over by law enforcement and charged before he has an accident or does bodily damage the personal costs are enormous. Aside from the night in jail, court, and fines, a drunk driver affects his persona; and work life. Most States are lenient with first offenders, and some would say even second offenders, however, when a drunk driver loses his license, it begins to affect his everyday life. Without a driver’s license, some offenders can no longer get to their job and must find work that is accessible by public transportation. If they are the only driver in the household, the entire family must rearrange the way they live, from getting to school, to buying groceries and even visiting friends.
It is important especially if you are a first time DUI DWI offender to get legal advice and know your legal options after any drunk driving arrest. Call (833) DUI-LAW1 to get help and make a plan to get back on your feet quickly.
There have been decades of Public Service Announcements, ad campaigns, community activism and personal counseling trying to convince people not to put the key in the ignition after drinking alcohol whatever the amount. For a few years it was working and America saw drunk driving fatalities falling year after year. In recent years the success has turned to failure as drunk driving accidents climb and fatalities are topping records from one year to the next.
Reversing the Upward Trend of Drunk Driving
The old ways of reaching out to those inclined to drive drunk do not seem to be working in the last few years as year after year the number of drunk driving accidents, injuries and fatalities continues to rise. The message must be presented where the drunk driving begins, in the establishments where the drinking occurs. The message of don’t drink and drive should be on the cocktail menus, on the wine lists and on the exit doors. Short of constant reinforcement of the message and stricter enforcement with more severe penalties the trend line will continue to rise.
In the coming decades with driverless cars, drunk driving might not be the problem that it is now. Although even today with on demand car services, the drunk driving crisis continues to grow.
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Originally published at www.safeproof.org.