Understanding Why You Shouldn’t Drink and Drive

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have made it illegal to operate a motor vehicle on a roadway with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows down the central nervous system. As a result, a person’s cognitive skills that are used for processing information and thinking clearly are negatively impacted. A person’s psychomotor skills that are used for coordination are also slowed down. Once a person’s cognitive and psychomotor skills are reduced, the likelihood of being in a collision increases significantly. The more that a person drinks, the more that his or her cognitive and psychomotor skills are diminished.

Everybody Around a Drunk Driver is At Risk
Motor vehicle accidents are the primary danger involved with drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every day in the United States. That comes out to one person every 50 minutes. Thousands of other people are injured annually. Nearly 10,500 deaths were attributed to drivers who were impaired by alcohol in 2016. Getting behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages not only places a driver’s safety at increased risk, but the safety of everybody around that driver is at an increased risk too.

Criminal Prosecution
People who are convicted of drinking and driving will face prosecution in the criminal courts and stiff sentencing. If found guilty, they can face jail time, expensive fines, court costs, alcohol education, the installation of an interlock ignition device and a driver’s license suspension. Should a driver kill somebody in a drunk driving accident, he or she is likely to face negligent homicide or manslaughter charges with a lengthy prison sentence when there’s a plea or finding of guilty.

Civil Remedies
If a driver who is under the influence of alcohol causes injuries to another driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian, that driver is likely to be held liable in a lawsuit for damages. Those damages can include property damage, past and any future medical bills, past and any future lost earnings, any permanent disfigurement or disability, pain and suffering and the loss of a normal life. A jury might even award punitive damages that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy.

In the best interests of yourself and others around you, a taxi, Uber or Lyft is a far better alternative than drinking and driving. Exercise that alternative.