Drunk driving is a taboo you surely have heard advocation against on radio or television. Everywhere, people are telling you that you should not drink and drive, and for good reason.
Unfortunately not everyone heeds these logical warnings. If you are one of those people that likes to stray on the edge of danger, allow these drinking and driving statistics to assist in making better decisions next time you enjoy a bit of alcohol and consider getting behind the wheel.
What is Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is the act of driving while impaired by alcohol. Even if you do not consider yourself drunk, you could still be guilty of drunk driving after only having one or two drinks. Moreover, becoming inebriated is not necessarily influenced by merely drinking. In fact, it also includes being impaired by drugs, even those that may be prescribed.
Drunk driving is not only a moral issue, but a crime. Should you be in the presence of someone attempting to drive drunk, there is no shame in standing up, being the voice of reason, and declaring “Don’t drink and drive.”
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Texting and Driving vs Drinking and Driving
There have been many discussions and studies done how the similarities between drunk driving and texting and driving alongside technological advancements. With both, driver attention is not completely on the road and driving is considered to be impaired.
Texting and driving is in a similar class of drinking and driving, both undeniably falling within the confines of distracted driving.
Accidents while texting and driving are on the rise. While the figures are not identical, these statistics will start looking the same should drivers not increase caution.
How Many Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Driving?
While the percentages may vary from year to year, approximately one third of all fatal accidents are caused by drunk drivers. If you seek reasons why you should not drink and drive, this is one of the main ones to consider; Of nonfatal car accidents, about 65% of all drivers in these accidents had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, meaning they were under the influence and should not have been driving.
How Many People Die a Year From Drunk Driving?
Every 51 minutes there is a death that is related to car crashes that involves a driver that has been impaired by alcohol. That equals to about 28 people every day that die from a crash related to drunk driving in the United States alone. When you do the math, the drunk driving deaths per year equate to 10,220 on average.
What is the Legal Limit for Drinking and Driving?
In all 50 United States, the legal limit for drinking and driving of .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you have a blood alcohol content great than .08%, you can be arrested for driving under the influence. Simply stated, you should not be driving if you have this much alcohol in your system.
For commercial drivers in the U.S., the BAC figure is even less. It is set at .04% and at that amount or more, then you can be arrested for driving under the influence.
How Much Can You Drink and Drive?
If you want to drink and still be able to legally drive, you will need to keep an eye on how much you consume or you might suffer the consequences of drunk driving. The actual number of drinks someone can have depends on a variety of factors including the amount of alcohol included in the drink, the size and weight of the person, and even more still.
However, there is a rule of thumb that your body can process one alcoholic drink per hour. If you keep this in mind and have a drink with dinner that lasts approximately an hour, you might be ok to drive since the alcohol would have been processed by your body. If you had three drinks with dinner, then you likely are not ok to legally drive. In this case, you should never drink and drive.
Again, we must reiterate that these general assumptions are not scientifically true for every person and should not be used as a definitive benchmark as to whether or not you are ok to drive after drinking.
Who is Most Likely to Drink and Drive?
When it comes to who may be more likely to drink and drive, men are statistically more likely to drink and drive than women. This does not mean that women are not able to drink and drive.
Nearly 25% of people caught drinking and driving are women. Teenagers are also at an increased risk for drinking and driving.
How Long After a Drink Can I Drive?
How long it takes your body to process an alcoholic drink depends on alcohol concentration within the beverage, your level of hydration, body size, and numerous other variables.
There is no hard and fast rule that accurately satisfies this answer for all.
Teenage Drunk Driving Facts
As mentioned above, drinking and driving for teenagers is a huge risk. On average, 8 teenagers die every day from drinking and driving crashes or accidents. These preventable drunk driving deaths might often be avoided with persistent education and a simple conversation.
Teenagers may not yet fully understand how alcohol impacts their body. In addition to less driving experience and misjudgement of blood alcohol levels, teenagers experience an increased risk of being in a DUI related car crash than older drivers may be at the same BAC, though operating a vehicle for either in this scenario is condoned.
Consequences of Drinking and Driving.
The consequences of drinking and driving are severe, both morally and legally. Not only might drivers spark an accident and die as a result, other people might be affected in a fatal traffic accident.
This, inherently, should be enough reason why you shouldn’t drink and drive. Yet people still choose to put lives in danger when getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk. In addition to the aforementioned – and perhaps most important reason not to drink and drive – extensive legal ramifications will be faced including DUI charges, loss of driver’s license, and limitless laundry list of problems that are better off avoiding with a simple choice.
The risks are too great. The choice is simple.
Never Drink and Drive
Nowadays, it should not even be considered. Better alternatives are always available. Get a ride with a sober friend, call a cab, summon a ride sharing service (Lyft or Uber), or book a hotel room for the night (Hotel Tonight offers astounding room discounts at beautiful locations, especially late in the evening).
This is an article that should never have to be written, but poor choices continue to be made in the face of drunk driving. Hopefully these statistics stick in your mind, helping to make a better decision the next time you are in a situation where you may consider drinking and driving.