Driving While Impaired
Every year people make the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And every year, this bad decision leads to many people getting injured or killed in a collision with an impaired driver. The Mother’s Against Drunk Driving has some shocking statistics regarding drunk drivers. Intoxicated drivers have often driven impaired many times prior to ever being pulled over. According to MADD, “[t]he average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before a first arrest.” In fact, “[e]ach day, people drive drunk more than 300,000 times, but only about 3200 are arrested.” In addition, arrest and conviction does not necessarily deter people from committing the same crime again. Of those who are arrested or convicted of DUI, one-third are repeat offenders.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2014, about a third of the traffic-related deaths in the U.S. were due to “alcohol-impaired driving crashes.” Other intoxicants such as drugs, both legal and illegal, have been a part of collisions and accidents as well, involving “about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.” The CDC stated that the groups most at risk for driving while intoxicated are younger people, motorcyclists, and drivers who have previous DUI convictions.
A person can become impaired well before their blood alcohol level reaches the legal driving limit. The CDC listed the effects of alcohol and driving at different blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. The chart shows that even if a person is below the legal limit, they are not free of the effects of alcohol. For example, at .05% BAC, people are usually feeling good, have a “lowered alertness,” and a “release of inhibition.” Those who drive may find they have a difficult time steering and a “reduced response to emergency driving situations.” At .08%, the actual legal limit, the effect on the person is even more marked. Effects include poor muscle coordination, it becomes harder for people to “detect danger,” and “[j]udgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired.” The effects on driving include “impaired perception” and “reduced information processing capability.” At a BAC of .15%, nearly double the legal limit, there is a “substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing.” Essentially, as a person’s BAC goes up, there ability to drive safely goes down.
According to MADD, 27 people die in drunk driving crashes every day. In addition to taking the lives of friends and loved ones, drunk driving crashes can leave people with serious and debilitating injuries. Some of these injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, could result in a person needing life-long rehabilitation and assistance with everyday tasks. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal today. Jeremy has extensive experience as a personal injury attorney and is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries. He offers a free consultation to all potential clients. You can reach his office at 303.825.2223, or fill out the online form by clicking here.