Why is Drunk Driving So Dangerous?
Accounting for roughly a third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States, drunk driving is incredibly dangerous. Even if you’ve just had one or two drinks (and think you feel fine), driving after drinking can slow down your reaction time and impair your ability to make quick, smart decisions. For these reasons and more, drunk driving is a dangerous—and illegal—driving habit that should never be attempted.
If you are ever involved in a drunk driving accident, however, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney in Denver. These legal experts can help you assess your situation from a legal perspective, defend your rights, and ensure you receive the fair and full compensation you deserve. Here, we’re taking a closer look at this unsafe driving habit that unfortunately leads to accidents, injuries, and deaths every single year. We’re also offering some tips to help you avoid driving under the influence.
Is Buzzed Driving the Same as Drunk Driving?
You’ve probably heard both of these terms thrown around quite a bit, but do you know the actual difference between buzzed driving and drunk driving? Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), buzzed driving happens when someone drives a vehicle with alcohol in their system, but it’s still under the legal limit of a BAC of 0.08 percent. Drunk driving, then, is operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
Thus, the difference between the two comes down to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Throughout the US, the legal limit remains 0.08 percent. However, regardless of the amount of alcohol in your system, both types of reckless driving are dangerous. Never get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking alcohol, no matter how many drinks you had.
Why is Drunk Driving So Dangerous?
Even just one alcoholic drink can significantly affect your ability to safely and effectively operate a motor vehicle. Additionally, since alcohol takes time to metabolize in the body, you may not feel the actual effects for a while. You could feel fine when you first hop into your car, but during the trip home, the effects of the alcohol you
consumed take hold. By then, it’s too late to make the right decision and you may be charged with a DUI.
Drunk driving is so dangerous because it alters how you can operate a vehicle. Driving under the influence impairs your ability to react quickly to changing road conditions. When driving, you need to make quick and smart decisions, which becomes a much bigger challenge when you’ve been drinking. Not only that, but your faculties may even be hampered as your vision can blur and your muscle reaction time slows down. You may also get distracted more easily, or if you’ve been drinking a lot, struggle to keep your eyes open while driving. It doesn’t take a legal expert to see why this is so incredibly dangerous.
In addition to the possibility of seriously injuring yourself or another driver or pedestrian, there are also serious legal consequences if you are found guilty of driving under the influence. If you’re charged with a DUI, you may face some of the following consequences:
- Driver’s license suspension.
- Driver’s license revocation.
- Vehicle impoundment.
- License plate confiscation.
- Alcohol abuse evaluations.
- Monitored sobriety.
- Ignition interlock device (IID) restrictions.
4 Ways to Prevent Drunk Driving
We all have a shared responsibility to prevent drunk driving so that our roads and highways are safer for everyone. As dangerous as drunk driving can be, it’s also very simple to avoid and prevent. Take a look at 4 simple ways that you can work to prevent drunk driving:
- Designate a driver: simply enough, designate someone from your group to abstain from drinking for the night so they can offer everyone a safe ride home. Take turns with your group to serve as the designated driver to protect your friends.
- Make a plan before going out: before you even leave for the evening, make sure you have a plan for how people will get home safely. Whether it’s calling a Lyft or designating a driver, you’d be amazed at how effectively simply thinking out a plan can be before you’re in the situation.
- Get a ride: with ridesharing apps like Uber, it’s never been easier to get a quick and safe ride home. These apps operate almost everywhere now, but if one isn’t available, you can always call on a taxi.
- Stay the night: if you’re at a house party or friends, you can always simply ask to stay the night if you’ve been drinking. You may feel like you’re inconveniencing your hosts, but it’s a small matter compared to the dangers of driving drunk.
Conclusion – Why is Drunk Driving So Dangerous?
No matter how you feel, it’s simply never worth the risk to drive after drinking alcohol. Even if it’s just one or two drinks, a DUI can cost you thousands of dollars, jeopardize your career and relationships, or even lead to jail time. Even worse, of course, is the fact that drunk driving can increase your risk of getting into an accident—potentially harming yourself and others. When you drive under the influence, your reaction time slows, your decision-making ability weakens, and you simply cannot operate a motor vehicle effectively or safely.
Luckily, there are many simple ways that you can avoid ever having to drive under the influence. With the rise of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, it’s easier than ever to find a quick, safe, and affordable ride home. You can also designate a sober drive if you’re going out with a group, call a taxi, or even get a nearby hotel room. Any hotel will still be cheaper than the consequences of a DUI. At the end of the day, it’s up to all of us to remain sober when driving so that our roads are safer for everyone.
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