Drunk driving, also referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), or impaired driving, refers to drinking alcohol and then operating a motor vehicle. It is one of the common causes of car accidents in the United States. Drunk driving is an inexcusable act, as it not only puts the driver at a high risk of injury, but also everyone else on the road around them. Driving under the influence with another occupant in the vehicle, such as a passenger or child, is an especially egregious offense.
Consequences of Drunk Driving
If someone drives drunk and survives a crash that injures or kills other people, he or she must live with the consequences. That emotional burden can be worse than any bodily harm.
But the physical perils of drunk driving are immense, too. Impaired driving can cause accidents that lead to paralysis, disfigurement, brain damage, and even death.
Impaired driving is also a crime. Drunk drivers often pay significant fines, lose their license and face higher insurance costs. Common punishments for conviction of a drunken driving-related offense can include:
- Driver’s license suspension / revocation
- Imprisonment in jail
- Vehicle impoundment
- Vehicle license plate confiscation
- Ignition interlock device (IID) restrictions
- Alcohol abuse evaluations
- Mandatory alcohol abuse treatment programs
- Monitored sobriety.
Drunk Driving Dangers
Alcohol’s sedative effects impair a driver’s decision-making skills and coordination. An impaired driver lacks the ability to avoid an accident quickly and decisively or even perform routine driving manoeuvres. Drunk drivers endanger themselves and everyone on the road, increasing the risk of automobile crashes and deaths.
Drunk Driving Prevention
According to the CDC, almost 29 people die every day in the U.S. because of a drunk driving car crash. If you are an alcohol-impaired driver, you are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. A BAC (blood alcohol content) level of just .02 percent (about 2 alcoholic drinks) can negatively affect your ability to drive safely. The CDC has provided safety tips to prevent instances of drunk driving:
- Designate a non-drinking driver when going out with a group of people.
- Do not let your friends drive impaired.
- If you have been drinking or using drugs, find a ride home or call a taxi; and
- If you are hosting a party, look after your friends and ensure they get home safe.
Drunk Driving and Addiction Treatment
Drunk driving may be the symptom of an alcohol addiction. Continuing to drink despite a DUI conviction or a stint in jail is often a tell-tale sign of addiction.
If someone you care about is battling an alcohol addiction, seek help before someone’s worst nightmare becomes a reality. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are available across the country.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Help
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by drunk driving, you may be able to get a monetary recovery to compensate you for your losses. Experienced car accident law firms such as Kamper & Estrada, PLLC can help with such cases.