According to the Bureau of Transportation, three people are killed every two hours in America due to alcohol-related crashes.
We’re all told from the moment we start driving that drunk driving is both illegal and dangerous. Yet, many drivers continue to do it every single day.
If you’ve ever considered getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks, you may benefit from learning the facts about drunk driving. Trust us when we say that these facts are incredibly sobering.
Read on to learn 8 facts about drunk driving that every driver should be aware of.
1. Five Drinks Is Over the Legal Limit
In every state in America, a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% is over the legal limit. On average, that means that five standard drinks will put anyone over the legal limit. Not only does that mean that you are a danger behind the wheel after five drinks but it means that you could get pulled over for reckless driving.
It’s important to note that things like height and weight can affect how quickly you reach a BAC of 0.08%. A small, thin person could easily have a BAC of 0.08% before finishing five drinks.
2. What You Drink Doesn’t Make a Difference
There’s a myth that says that different kinds of alcohol can make you “more” intoxicated. Truthfully, that’s not how intoxication works.
Instead, you need to consider the standard size of a single drink for each type of alcohol. A good rule of thumb is to consider 12 ounces of beer a single drink, 5 ounces of wine a single drink, and 1.5 ounces of liquor a single drink. (These sizes are subject to change based on the ABV of the drink you are consuming.)
3. The Only Thing That Lowers Your BAC Is Time
Speaking of myths, have you ever heard that drinking a cup of coffee or taking a cold shower can sober you up? The truth is that even if these things make you feel less lethargic and more alert, they don’t make you less drunk.
It takes time for the body to process alcohol. In fact, it can take up to two hours for your body to metabolize a single drink.
4. Over a Quarter of Traffic-Related Deaths are Caused by Drunk Driving
It is important that we take the responsibility of driving seriously. Accidents occur every day, and defensive driving skills can help us to avoid them. In fact, if every driver avoided drunk driving, traffic-related deaths would go down by 28%.
5. A Lot of Drunk Drivers Aren’t Caught
It’s hard to pin down exact statistics, but it is widely believed that over 300,000 drunk drivers hit the road every single day–without getting caught.
These numbers shouldn’t assure you that you can get away with drunk driving. Instead, they should remind you that every time you think about getting behind the wheel while drunk, there are hundreds of thousands of other drivers already making that mistake. Don’t add yourself to that statistic.
6. Intoxication Manslaughter Is a Felony
If a driver kills someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is considered intoxication manslaughter, which is a felony. That means that you can lose your license, wrack up thousands of dollars in legal fees, and face prison time all because of one choice.
It’s worth noting that intoxication manslaughter cases hinge on voluntary intoxication. If you were involved in a car accident after being given drugs or alcohol without your knowledge or consent, this is considered involuntary intoxication. You can speak with this intoxication manslaughter attorney to find out what your next steps should be.
7. Teens Are At Risk
Teens are some of the most frequent drivers that are involved in drunk driving accidents. Let’s take a closer look at teens and drunk driving.
There is no legal BAC level for drivers under the age of 21. If you can’t legally drink, you can be punished by the law for drinking with a BAC higher than 0%.
Yet, 16% of teens nationwide report that they’ve ridden with an impaired driver in the last month. On top of that alarming statistic, it has been found that teens who either drink underage or ride with an impaired driver are more likely to drive drunk, themselves.
If you have a teen driver, make sure that you talk to them about the dangers of driving while drunk. Sharing facts about drunk driving can help them make better decisions down the line.
8. Drunk Driving Is 100% Preventable
Driving while drunk is always preventable. If you know that you are heading out for a party or a night on the town, make sure that you have a reliable plan for getting home.
One option is to have a designated driver with you or a friend that is on call to pick you up and take you home. Another option is to look into public transportation in your area. Find out if there is a bus or metro near you and map out the route you need to take to get home before you start drinking.
Finally, there are tons of rideshare apps that are available in most major and mid-sized cities. Even if you have to pay $20 to call a car, consider it an investment in your future.
Know the Facts About Drunk Driving
There is no excuse for the number of deaths and injuries that occur each day because of drunk driving. Brush up on the facts about drunk driving to remind yourself that getting behind the wheel while drunk is never, ever worth it.
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