In 2016, 10,497 people died in drunken driving motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
However, drunk driving is still a significant problem, and most offenders are repeat offenders. Every state in the United States of America uses .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for operating vehicles. While you may know this, here are other important things to note:
The Problem With Drunk Driving
Although the limit is legally .08%BAC, a person’s functionality can get impaired from 0.02% BAC. They may be too relaxed, or their vision may not be optimal, and eyesight is necessary for driving safely. As the alcohol level increases, perception and logical reasoning reduce, making the person less coordinated. So, legally, the safest alcohol level to drive at is zero percent.
Difference Between DUI and DWI
DUI means driving under the influence, while DWI means driving while intoxicated. You may have heard the terms DUI and DWI used at different times or even in the same sentence. However, they may mean different things in different states, where one may refer to the cause of impairment being drugs and the other being alcohol.
Cost Implications of Drunk Driving
Asides from the emotional price that a person may have to pay if involved in an accident while driving drunk, the financial costs are also staggering. There is:
– Increased insurance
Asides from a doubled or even tripled cost from insurance companies; some may decide to drop the insurance upon DUI arrest. Leaving the person without insurance and liable to fix the damages.
– Legal costs
When arrested, bail is usually 10% of the person’s bond amount and while lawyers will always be there to handle the case. They will need to get paid too.
– Medical Costs
In a DUI claim where an accident occurs, there’ll be immediate medical bills to pay. Depending on the severity, there may be a need for rehabilitation or physiotherapy, which will incur long term costs.
Ways To Prevent Drunk Driving
The best way to prevent driving while drunk is to plan not to drive if you’re going to a place where there’s alcohol. You can also:
Plan for a driver: Either you have a designated driver who will stay sober or plan to call a cab. However, these plans should be made before, not after getting drunk. It’s not safe to assume that a friend automatically knows they’re the designated driver. It’s also safer to set the alarm to call a friend or to hire a cab.
Be accountable: Encourage friends and family to drink non-alcoholic beverages when they would need to drive and when they don’t plan to drive, it’s honorable to call them a cab or offer to drive them home. You can also monitor drinking if you’re the host of a gathering or give people the option of places to sleep if need be.
Although drunk driving is a serious issue in America, it is essential to note that different states may have different rules on what qualifies as drunk driving. So, if you find yourself in a drunk-driving situation and an accident is involved, it’s essential to get a lawyer in that area. Eg: You would need a Las Vegas car accident lawyer if there’s been an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol in Las Vegas.