The Facts About Drinking and Driving

Driving while intoxicated is an extremely dangerous and senseless act that kills over twelve thousand people each year. Individuals who drive with increased blood alcohol content (BAC) are at risk for vehicle accidents, highway injuries and death to your own self and victims on the road. BAC measures a person’s concentration of alcohol in the blood and is expressed in terms of volume of alcohol per volume of blood.

In the United States, drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher while driving can be criminally charged and/or have their license suspended. For those under 21 years of age, any amount of alcohol is grounds for a DUI arrest under strict zero tolerance laws.

Both DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated or impaired) refer to the operating of a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. All 50 states in the U.S. have a set BAC of 0.8% for driving while intoxicated.

License suspension is a common conviction for those individuals found driving while impaired or if they refuse to take a chemical test. In more than half of the U.S. states, a DUI conviction is grounds for an installation of an ignition interlock on the offenders vehicle.

Drinking and driving is never okay and if you have the need to drink, a designated driver or taxi cab should be contacted to get you home safely. You are liable for your own actions when driving while intoxicated.

Vehicle manslaughter is one consequence of driving under the influence and is considered a crime in the United States. It involves the negligent operation of a vehicle that causes a death to another person involved in the accident.

Mixing drugs or medications with alcohol is yet another common cause of vehicle accidents and can be especially dangerous as this deadly combination can lead to an overdose. Drunk driving makes up 32% of car accidents in the U.S with 14% being underage drinkers. According to the 2008 FARS, 66,244 drivers were involved in a total of 60,508 crashes that killed nearly 41,059 people.

Remember that you should never drive or get into the car with someone who has had too many drinks. This includes reporting drivers who may be intoxicated. The best way to stay safe on the road is not to drink and drive.

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