Drunk driving refers to the act of driving under the influence of alcohol, and it has gradually become one of the major causes of serious injuries and deaths in many countries around the world including the United States of America. In some countries, drunk driving is generally about driving under the influence of alcohol while others require a certain percentage of alcohol to be present in the bloodstream before such person can be said to have driven when drunk.
In the US, if 0.08 or higher percentage of alcohol is found in the bloodstream during a drunk driving test, such person is said to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Physiologically, after alcohol is taken by an individual, it is absorbed into the bloodstream where it will be distributed to different parts of the body. When it goes into the brain, it exerts its influence on the body in different ways. Though alcohol is meant to be metabolized in the body and excreted via the liver, it could have severe impacts on the body when taken in large amount.
Drunk driving statistics show that it is responsible for thousands of death and injuries each year as the drunk and other people such as other drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and passengers are at the risks of the dangers of the act. Most of the effects of this act come as a result of what alcohol is capable of doing to mental capacity, motor skills, reaction time, judgement, perception, coordination and attention of the drunk.
Apart from the persons directly involved in drunk driving accidents, family members and friends are not exempted from the effects of the menace. From loss of jobs to loss of lives, unavoidable medical treatment, higher premium, damaged cars and subsequent unemployment, there are different ways by which the act of driving under the influence of alcohol can affect the economic situations of an individual and the people around such person.
Here are important drunk driving facts everyone should know so as to keep away from this deadly act:
There are several punishments attached to this illegal act in different countries across the world. Even with the efforts of drunk driving lawyers, anyone who drives under the influence of alcohol can be punished with fines, suspension or revocation of license for months or years, jail time or community service.
There are many stringent rules against drunk driving under the age of 21 as people of such age are known to be reckless drivers; hence, they are more susceptible to causing drunk driving accidents than other people. Whether driving below or above alcohol legal limit, zero tolerance law is applicable to driving under the influence of alcohol for people under 21.
Being fully aware of the dangers of alcohol when driving, it is vital for everyone to understand the basic ways to avoid it. So how do you prevent it? The most important ways to avoid it are:
Though it is important to steer clear of this evil act, what would you do if you were caught driving under the influence of alcohol? The first thing to do is to get in touch with an experienced drunk driving attorney who can be of help to you. Even if the drunk driving test shows you are guilty, the attorney can still help you file license suspension appeal. The major goal of hiring an attorney to reduce the severity of the punishment attached to the offence.
Drunk driving is an act of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Generally, it involves driving when the alcohol content in the person’s bloodstream is above the legal limit. Different countries have different legal limits of alcohol content in the bloodstream.
It is a problem because it is capable of affecting the decision making ability, perception, reaction time, judgement and coordination of a driver; hence putting the driver and other road users at risk of encountering injuries or even death.
Many people drive drunk because their mental ability has become impaired and they are incapable of making good decisions. Therefore, they drive without realizing the dangers that could be encountered from such risky act.
Basically, drunk driving is not a felony under normal circumstances. However, there are certain factors that could make it a felony. These factors include if a person is receiving the fourth drunk driving charges within 10 years, if there is prior drunk driving felony convictions and if accidents caused by drunk driving involve fatal injuries or even death.
Important teenage drunk driving statistics include:
MADD (Mother against Drunk Driving) is a non-profit organization that is established with the aim of putting an end to drunk driving, stopping underage drinking and ending all problems associated with drunk driving. This organization, which was established in 1980, operates in both Canada and the United States of America.
One of the most common consequences of drunk driving is drunk driving arrest which could lead to jail time. Drunk driving can also lead to revocation or suspension of driver’s license, community service, fines, severe injuries, vehicle impounding, vehicle damage, higher premium and death.
To prevent drunk driving, do not drink if you want to drive, take away car keys from a drunk person, call designated driver or taxi, sleep over where you are when you are drunk or call law enforcement agents.
More than 30,000 cases of accidents are reportedly caused by drunk driving each year in the United States while there are many more cases in other countries around the world.
There are lots of drunk driving penalties in the US and other countries. Some of the common penalties of drunk driving are license revocation, community service, license suspension, monetary fines, jail time and even execution in very few countries.
In the US, more than 15,000 people die each year as a result of drunk driving and this is over 30% of all road accident-related deaths. Though statistics for many countries are not backed up with evidences, it is obvious that hundreds of thousands of people die each year from drunk driving all over the world.
Drunk driving is punishable by death in El-Salvador for a first time offender. In Taiwan, it could be punishable by death if deaths resulted from the act. Notably, there are rumors circulating the internet that drunk driving is punishable by death in Bulgaria. However, this is untrue because Bulgaria is an EU member and no EU member is allowed to punish any crime by death.
If you want to report drunk driving, call 911 and give details of the drunk driving case. The details you have to give include the make, model, color and license plate of the vehicle. You may also need to describe how the vehicle is being driven.
Drunk driving can cause emotional trauma, financial loss, physical stress and social stigma to families and friends of the person involved depending on the severity of the act.
Drunk driving is a social problem because of its negative impact on social responsibility and reputation of the person involved.
Drunk driving first became illegal in New Jersey in 1906, and other states later implemented similar laws to illegalize drunk driving in the US. By the 1960s and 1970s, most states amended the laws and implemented stricter punishments for the offense.
Drunk driving became illegal in Canada in 1921 after its negative impacts were evaluated. The laws as regards drunk driving were later amended in 1951 and 1976.
As it stands today, El-Salvador has the toughest drunk driving laws in the world. This Central American nation punishes drunk driving by execution.
There are a handful of countries that allow drunk driving. These countries include Indonesia, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam, Bhutan, Angola and Comoros.
The legal limit of alcohol has been set as 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in all 50 states of the US. While the legal blood alcohol level remains constant, commercial drivers and those under the age of 21 may be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol even when their BAC is lower than 0.08%
The best ways to prevent drunk driving are choosing a designated driver who does not drink to drive you home, using public transport or calling a taxi, avoiding or alternating the use of alcohol at a party, hiding the car keys from drunk people and sleeping over where you are. If all these fail, call law enforcement to assist you prevent drunk driving.
The first ability affected by alcohol is judgement. By definition, judgement is the ability of a person to make a considered decision based on proper discernment and comparison of situations or circumstances. Resultantly, the ability of the drunk individual to reason reduces. After judgement, other abilities that will be affected include concentration, vision, comprehension and reaction time.
When it comes to drunk driving, people often ask "how many drinks can I have and drive?" There is no direct answer to this question as lots of factors affect it. For anyone weighing 100 pounds, anything above one serving of alcohol (12 oz. of beer, 4 oz. of table wine or 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor) can be over the 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. Other factors that can affect the amount of legally consumable drink when you want to drive are food consumed, age, sex, fatigue and medication.
Unlike the general 0.08% BAC for people that 21 and above, the main laws of under 21 drivers have placed the BAC at 0.02 in most states. Some states have set theirs at 0.01, whereas others will prosecute anyone with over 0%. There are also stiffer punishments for anyone under 21 caught to have driven under the influence of alcohol.