Dangers of Drunk Driving

by Balboa Horizons | December 8, 2017

Dangers of Drunk Driving: 10 Facts About Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

We’ve heard so much about the dangers of drunk driving, it’s almost become white noise. We accept that the act is bad without looking into the specific and widespread damage it causes on a daily basis. We break it down:

First things first, what is drunk driving?

It is illegal nationwide to drive with a BAC at or above 0.08%. For those under 21, “zero tolerance” laws make it illegal to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. But make no mistake, if driving becomes impaired at less than the legal limit, it’s still dangerous and illegal.

Drinking affects vision, coordination, reaction time, and judgment – all important functions of driving. A false confidence typically leads drunk drivers behind wheel, but slower brain functions mean they can’t react quickly enough. Drunk drivers have a reduction in ability to judge their speed as well as a reduction inability to focus and multitask. All this combined with a sleepy, tired demeanor, leads to dangerous consequences:

  1. In 2015, nearly 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That’s 1% of the 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year. (CDC)
  2. Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. (MADD)
  3. About one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash during their lifetimes. (NHTSA)
  4. In 2016, 10,497 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 50 minutes – and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes. (MADD)
  5. Thirty-one percent of car accident deaths involve an alcohol-impaired driver (CDC)
  6. Drunk driving costs the United States $132 billion a year. (MADD)
  7. Almost half of drivers killed in car accidents who tested positive for drugs had also consumed alcohol (MADD)
  8. Of the traffic fatalities among children 14 and younger in 2014, 19 percent occurred in alcohol impaired-driving crashes. (CDC)
  9. About a quarter of car crashes with teens involve an underage drinking driver. (MADD)
  10. In 2010, alcohol was involved in 47.2% of pedestrian fatalities – more fatalities than for vehicle occupants (39.9%) (Bureau of Transportation Statistics).

For someone struggling with substance abuse, all their driving could be drunk driving – making these stats an every day, every moment possibility. If someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and on the road, call the police immediately. That phone call can be hard, but it will ensure their safety, as well as ours.

IF YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE IS CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM ADDICTION OR MENTAL ILLNESS – BALBOA HORIZONS CAN HELP INSPIRE CHANGE AND TRANSFORM THEIR LIFE TOWARD THE PATH OF RECOVERY.