The Impact of Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving is one of the worst problems on the roads in the United States of America. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you have alcohol in your system can increase your risk of getting into an accident. Whether you have drank very little or if your blood alcohol content or BAC is high, driving under the influence will still pose a risk to you, your passengers and others on the road, including pedestrians.

When you consume alcohol, your judgment and ability to react in a timely manner are impaired. Even on a single drink, you may feel perfectly normal and that you can drive fine, but even a tiny buzz can prove you wrong. The biggest issue with drunk driving is that any accident or death that it causes is preventable. If you are going out with a group and know you will be drinking, either don’t drive to your destination or drive there but designate someone to be the driver at the end of the night. This individual is called the designated driver and is responsible for not drinking throughout the night when you are out.

If you are a friend of someone who has been drinking and who has driven to their destination and you notice they seem impaired at the end of the night, don’t let them drive home. Insist on taking their car keys and call them a taxi so they can get home safely. Remind the individual that they can come back the next day to retrieve their car when they are sober. This tactic can save many lives.

Underage Drinking

Sadly, many of the people who drink and drive most are under the age of 21. Underage drinking is a huge problem in the country, with approximately 5,000 deaths of young people occurring each year. Around 1,900 of these are as a result of a car accident due to driving drunk.

Drunk Driving Injuries and Impact

Injuries that are incurred as a result of drunk driving can be severe and long lasting. Many suffer head and spinal injuries that result in brain damage and paralysis, with many of the individuals stricken ending up in wheelchairs and requiring surgery and rehabilitation. However, these are the lucky ones as many more people who are involved in drunk driving accidents die. This group includes the individuals who are driving drunk, their passengers, other drivers and passengers in other vehicles and pedestrians who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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DUI and the Police

Police are always on the road looking out for drunk drivers. Should you be caught driving erratically as a result of being drunk, you will be pulled over, given a breathalyzer test to calculate your BAC and arrested for DUI — driving under the influence. If you are found to have a BAC of .08 (this limit may vary in some states), you are considered legally intoxicated.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are drinking and have your car with you, there are things you can do to be responsible. As previously mentioned, you can pick someone who is not drinking to be a designated driver. If this is not possible because you are alone, you can drink plenty of water to dilute the alcohol in your system. Eating food will also help as it can absorb the alcohol. Wait awhile before you get behind the wheel of your car again.

This article was contributed by Tulsa Oklahoma DUI Lawyer Zach Smith to educate and promote safe drinking practices.

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