Some drinking and driving facts you may have heard before, whereas others will surprise you. It’s important to understand the dangers of a DUI and how drinking affects your ability to drive safely. After reading the drinking and driving facts below, you’ll understand why you should never sit behind the wheel after a drink, not even if your blood alcohol content is below legal limit.
1. You May Have to Wait 6 Hours or More Before Driving After Drinking
One of the drinking and driving facts that surprise people is they must wait 6 hours for alcohol to leave their system with a blood alcohol content of 0.08. Be careful about drinking the day before if you have to get up early to drive somewhere.
Even if you think you’re okay to drive, you don’t want an officer to pull you over and test your blood alcohol content. You can still be charged with a DUI if you have alcohol in your system when a cop pulls you over. Thus, you never want to take the risk of driving with alcohol in your system. A DUI will take a lot of time and money away from you.
2. Only Time Can Make a Person More Sober
You’ve probably heard all sorts of myths about how you can sober up more quickly. Take a cold shower. Drink coffee. Exercise it out of your system. These are all common myths about sobering up. In actuality, none of these things will make you more sober. Only time makes a person more sober. This is one of the most important drinking and driving facts to know. It will prevent you from unknowingly driving under the influence.
3. Someone in America is Killed Every Hour by Drunk Driving
Drinking and driving causes a death in America every 51 minutes. That’s approximately 27 people each day who die from a drunk driver. And the drunk drivers who are responsible for their deaths are usually charged with a felony.
The drinking and driving facts about how often a person is injured from a drunk driving accident is much more frequent. Every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash.
4. Being Caught Driving with a Revoked License for a DUI is a Felony
Around 50-75% of people drive illegally when they lose their license from a DUI. They are putting themselves in dangerous situations. If you’re caught drinking and driving again with a suspended license, you can be charged with a felony. The consequences will be even worse if anyone is injured or killed as a result of your drunk driving.
5. Drinking Alcohol Impairs Your Motor Skills and Mental Capacity
Many people know that you can stumble and make bad choices while drunk. Drinking alcohol impairs your motor skills and mental capacity. One of the most important drinking and driving facts that people don’t realize is their motor skills return before cognitive skills.
You may have stopped losing balance but your mental capacity is still impaired. And with impaired mental capacity, you could get into a car accident. Your ability to identify and respond to information is impaired when you have alcohol in your system. Sometimes your body will respond but in the wrong way. For instance, if a car comes to a stop in front of you, you may press your foot on the accelerator instead of the brake.
6. Risk of Death is 11 Times Higher When You Drive Under the Influence
Another chilling fact about drinking and driving is the risk of death is 11 times higher, as reported by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Adults ages 21-24 have the highest fatality rate of all the age groups. Drunk driving takes many teenage lives as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that approximately 31% of the teenagers killed on the road in 2006 had been drinking.
7. Even a Blood Alcohol Content Below the Legal Limit Affects Driving Skills
Although a blood alcohol content of 0.08 is considered impaired and illegal in most states, you may want to avoid drinking even if your BAC is below 0.08. A blood alcohol content of 0.02 decreases judgment and visual functionality. It can cause mood swings as well. At 0.05 BAC, you have increased lack of judgment, reduced ability to detect moving objects, reduced response rate, and decreased alertness. You can easily tell how this negatively impacts your driving. By 0.08 blood alcohol content, you have lack of self control, impaired short-term memory, and reduced muscle coordination.
8. You Can Get a DUI with Other Methods of Transportation
Not many people think of anything besides a car when they hear the term “DUI.” However, federal law includes bicycles, golf carts, snowmobiles, and jet skis under their definition of a motor vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to know you’re not safer by opting for another method of transportation when it involves you operating the machine.
9. A DUI Is Costly
Being convicted of a DUI is costly both in terms of money and time. Potential expenses you may have to pay are court fees, fines, probation expenses, enrollment in an alcohol and drug education program, and higher auto insurance. If the court rules an ignition interlock device needs to be installed on your car, then you’ll have to cover that expense too.
The cost of going to court for a DUI comes out of your own pocket. And any related expenses like being put on probation is a cost you must pay. All people who have been convicted of a DUI are required to get SR-22 insurance. This type of auto insurance is very expensive. Many people see their premiums triple as a result of a DUI.
The above drinking and driving facts show how dangerous a DUI is. Although it doesn’t always result in someone’s injury or death, a DUI is serious. Judicial systems take the offense seriously because you have endangered yourself and others. In some cases, you have actually hurt someone from driving while under the influence. Because any amount of alcohol in your body, even under the federal legal limit, impairs cognition, you should never drive with alcohol in your system.
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