Shocking Facts About Drinking & Driving in the US
It maybe a relief to know that as per NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, alcohol related accidents have reduced from 60% during 1982 to 39% during 2005. However, it is also a reality that three out of every ten US citizens is going to be involved in an accident related to drunk driving.
Drinking and driving kills
The government has set the legal limit to drive at 21 years. Anyone below that age and found to have even negligible amounts of alcohol in their blood will still be penalized as per law. Even persons below 21 years having BAC levels of just 0.01 or 0.02% are punishable under law. Every 2 minutes a person in the US gets injured because of drunken driving. Considering such an alarming statistic, it is not surprising that the US government has such tough laws dealing with alcoholic injuries.
Shocking effects on the body
If an alcohol test shows a BAC level of 0.08 or more it indicates a ‘drunk’ state as per legal terms. During such a condition the body undergoes many side-effects such as the inability to perceive objects properly, making errors in judgment and even losing one’s peripheral vision. As soon as one consumes more than one drink, the brain is the first to pick up alcohol. This happens because the brain contains the largest supply of blood, compared to all other organs of the body. The portion of the brain, which controls muscular movement is affected severely by alcohol intake. That automatically means that your muscles lose their sense of coordination, which can be highly risky and fatal in a driving scenario. Your response times get slower and you stop being able to gauge and react to situations in a timely manner. If a vehicle is approaching you at a high speed, you would not be able to apply the brakes in time or swerve the vehicle away from the road. If a police officer suspects you have been drinking, he or she will ask you to go through a breath analyzer test.
Alarming statistics: the danger of drunk driving
It may sound shocking but it is a fact that over 327000 persons get injured every year because of drunk driving. In California alone, the percentage of fatal collisions from drunk driving increased by 18.4% during 2000 and 2005. No wonder then that California has one of the toughest laws against drunk driving. A fine anywhere between 390 to 1000 dollars can be slapped on a person with BAC levels above normal. For repeat offenders, the vehicle can be impounded for even 2 years. During 2005 alone, out of all children who died in motor crashes, 21% of them were 14 years of age and below and died because of drunk driving. The same year it was found that the most number of drunk driving cases happened by persons aged between 21 and 24 years of age. These persons had BAC levels above 0.08, which is considered a criminal offence.