Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving

Statistical records on road tragedies in the US show that more than 5 million car accidents occur every year. More than half this number results in serious injuries either to the person who actually caused the accident or to the victim. There are various reasons as to why auto accidents occur and though some lie beyond the direct control of the driver, such as road defect or car part defect, which is the responsibility of the manufacturer, the main reason is still driver’s fault or error.

Drunk driving tops the list of reasons for driver-caused accidents, speeding and reckless driving register the second and third reasons, respectively. This is despite all the warnings, the educational programs and public awareness, the visibility of traffic enforcers and the penalties which have been made stiffer over the years.

People who choose to drive after drinking simply put innocents’ lives on the line; and the more a person drinks the likelihood of getting into an accident, even a fatal one, also increases. This is because any amount of alcohol will definitely affect or impair a person’s motor and mental skills. Impairment due to alcohol, by the way, is never based on the type of alcoholic beverage drank, but on the amount of alcohol consumed over a particular time period.

Thus, based on the usual way of measuring blood alcohol content (BAC) or blood ethanol concentration (the basis for measurement is a 160 lb. male whose liver is functioning normally) in a normal person, two to three bottles of beer consumed within the hour would register about 0.04% alcohol content in the blood. This means that, consuming four to five bottles, a person would give a BAC reading of about 0.08%, the allowed limit in all jurisdictions in the US.

Though people may have different levels of tolerance to alcohol, so that habitual drinkers may remain more sober than social drinkers after ingesting the same amount of alcohol, those who will be caught ought to bear in mind that BAC is based on the amount of alcohol in the blood; it does not measure sobriety and physical alertness. This means that even if a person is quite okay physically and mentally even after consuming a six-pack, the fact that he or she has more than 0.08% BAC, he will still be charged with driving under the influence (DUI), also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating while impaired (OWI), or operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI) depending on the jurisdiction, since his/her being intoxicated is a potential reason for serious car accidents wherein the lives of many others are put in danger.

One Response to “Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving”

  1. I recently read that some legislators were proposing that the legal BAC be lowered across the country. I wonder if this would reduce drunk driving accidents, or just result in more DUI arrests.

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