Drunk driving—an issue that’s been around for years. The epidemic that is drunk driving has been affecting millions of lives not just across the nation, but around the globe. As early as the 1960’s, the number of drunk driving accidents in the United States was well into the thousands, with 25,000 plus accidents reported in a single year. Around the 1970’s there were hardly any laws to punish those who decided to drive under the influence. In the event of a crash, no licenses were suspended, no penalties were given and these crashes were considered “accidents” that no one meant to cause.
In fact, in 1977, a journalist named Doris Aiken was shocked to read about a drunk driver who had killed two teenagers in New York City. When she questioned the district attorney about the accident, a shocking revelation was made. The driver who had collided with and killed the teenagers would be allowed to keep his license, and even more shockingly, wouldn’t face any jail time. Aiken knew that change had to happen, and it has. A personal injury attorney today will fight for someone who was injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
As of 1978, several anti-drunk driving groups have emerged, including Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID), and Mother Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Today, laws, as well as penalties, exist to prosecute those who decide to drive under the influence, and while it may seem that that should be enough to stop drunk driving, sadly it is still a leading cause in fatal auto accidents around the world.
How Alcohol Affects Driving Ability
From slurred speech to slowed reaction times, alcohol diminishes your body and mind’s basic functions and makes it harder to perform certain, if not several, activities. Drivers who decide to drive under the influence may experience loss of judgment, an altered mood, a decline in visual functions, and reduced ability to maintain lane position.
When alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed through the walls of the stomach and makes its way into the bloodstream until the liver metabolizes it. As a way to measure how much alcohol someone has consumed, officers use a breathalyzer to test the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC); the weight of alcohol in a certain amount of blood is what they look for.
While no amount of alcohol should be consumed before taking the wheel, all 50 states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Any amount of alcohol in your system can be deadly when behind the wheel. In 2016 alone, 2,017 people were killed in drunk driving accidents where their BAC was lower than .08 g/dL, and it is estimated that drunk drivers cause one-third of all fatal auto accidents.
The best way to fight the epidemic and save yourself a call to your personal injury attorney is to practice responsible behavior. If you know that you will be drinking, always be prepared to call a taxi, Uber or Lyft; you can also choose a designated driver if you’re going out with friends. On the subject of friends, you should also never let your friends drive intoxicated, and if you are hosting an event where alcohol will be served, make sure everyone leaves with a sober driver. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) offers a SaferRide app for those who need a ride. In the end, it is much better to pay for an Uber or other services rather than pay for a DUI ticket or face a personal injury lawyer in court for a drinking-related accident.
Aside from an experienced personal injury attorney, Robert J. DeBry and Associates also offers a free rides program which reimburses you for your cab ride home in the Salt Lake City metro area.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney If You Were Injured
We know that not all drivers will comply with the law. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact a personal injury attorney at Robert J. DeBry and Associates. Our team of attorneys and lawyers are determined to get you the compensation you deserve for any injuries and damages you may have sustained.