We all know that drunk driving is unsafe and an overall bad idea. We are also aware of the associated dangers and the tragic outcomes that can follow. Unfortunately, that knowledge isn’t enough to keep some drivers from operating their vehicles while intoxicated. No matter their reason, the decision is always a wrong one.
While we help drunk driving accident victims, we also strive to encourage the prevention of such accidents. Let’s dive deeper into the facts you may not know about drunk driving. The key to aiding in the prevention of such tragedies is to know as much as possible.
2.1 percent of Maryland drivers report driving after drinking too much.
There are a number of reasons a person might decide to drive after drinking too much. Oftentimes, it’s the claim that they have no other way to get home. While 2.1 percent of Maryland drivers admitted to drinking and driver, nationally only 1.9 percent made the same report. It’s also likely that a significant number of individuals who were surveyed by the CDC did not come forward with their behavior.
It’s crucial to always have a backup plan if you know you are going to be drinking and will need to leave your location later. Oftentimes, your best option is to stay where you are at until you are sober and capable of operating a vehicle safely. You could also consider having a designated driver or call a rideshare service or taxi.
One in three traffic deaths in the United States involves an intoxicated driver.
While drunk driving fatalities have gone down in recent years, the numbers are still significant. Drunk drivers get behind the wheel millions of times each year and cause thousands of accidents. As a result, thousands are injured or killed. The deaths can be particularly difficult for the families to cope with because of the idea that the incident could have been prevented altogether. In Maryland alone, more than 1,700 individuals were killed over the course of nine years as a result of inebriated drivers.
The legal limit for alcohol is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC); however, a 0.02% BAC can impact a person’s ability to drive.
Even the smallest amount of alcohol in your system can impact your ability to drive. A standard drink size in the United States consists of 12 ounces of beer, eight ounces of malt liquor, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor. After about two alcoholic drinks, a person could experience loss of judgment, altered mood, increase in body warmth, and relaxation. As a result, the effects behind the wheel could include a decline in visual function and a decline in the ability to perform two tasks at the same time.
The more alcohol a person consumes, the more difficult it will become to drive. With a BAC of 0.08 percent, a person will likely experience poor muscle coordination, poor judgment, self-control, and reasoning, and may have a harder time detecting danger.
Young people, motorcyclists, and drivers with prior driving while impaired (DWI) convictions are most at risk when drinking and driving.
There are certain groups of individuals who are more likely to drink and drive or more likely to get into an accident while intoxicated. At all levels of BAC, the risk of being involved in an accident is higher for younger people than for older people. Nearly three in ten intoxicated drivers are between the ages of 25 to 34. The second highest group is 21 to 24.
Motorcyclists between 35 to 39 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs higher than 0.08 percent. Drivers with prior DWI convictions are also more at risk when drinking and driving. They are 4.5 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash resulting from a BAC higher than 0.08 percent.
An underage DUI can result in consequences that affect a person for life.
In general, there is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drunk drivers. If you are under the age of 21 and are caught with even the smallest amount of alcohol in your system, you will face serious consequences. While those consequences will vary, this could go on someone’s record and affect their ability to become gainfully employed in the future.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driver, our attorneys have the experience needed to provide your family with the justice, peace, and compensation you deserve. Motor vehicle collisions can be expensive and dealing with insurance companies can be difficult if you’re trying to focus on recovering. Contact our firm to start your legal journey today.