How Dangerous is Drinking and Driving?

When is too much really “too much”? When is your drinking going to endanger other drivers on the road? When is mixing drugs and alcohol going to lead to an accident? How dangerous is drinking one beer, a few more, a few more, and then driving?

According to a recent study, drinking two beers can lead to close to a .04 BAC (blood alcohol content). This is of course subjective, depending on how much you weigh and if you eat. However, it gives us a good barometer for how drinking affects you. If you drink twice that amount, about 4 beers, you can be at the legal limit in all 50 states, .08. If you get to a .04, you are 1.4 times as likely to get into an accident. If you get to .08, you are 10 times more likely to get into an accident (and you’re breaking the law). Keep drinking, and the numbers can be quite startling, making you 30 to 40 times more likely to get into an accident.

Car accidents are a leading cause of death throughout the country. And accidents are the leading cause of death for those under the age of 24; about 40% of drivers under 24 who get into an accident do so because of alcohol. The dangers for young drivers may seem obvious, but it’s a point which needs to be made more.

The more you drink, the more likely you are to get into an accident. And remember, the numbers above are just basic benchmarks. If you weigh very little, you may hit .08, the legal limit, much faster. If you weigh more, you may think you can handle more, drinking more and then getting into an accident.

Why is drinking and driving so dangerous? It’s important to understand how alcohol affects your body. The most important affect alcohol has is in reaction time. Your reflexes slow, and you might rear end someone who stops quickly. Your vision is also effected, making driving at night dangerous. You may suffer from common drowsiness after doing some drinking, and that influences your ability to drive. Though there are many more – such as coordination in the actual driving process – remember that alcohol has major affects on your driving abilities, even in small amounts.

What if you get charged with a DUI or DWI? You have more options than you might think. These are serious charges, and you need legal representation. A DUI lawyer is invaluable in protecting your rights. You likely made some mistakes. You have to understand you endangered others on the road if you indeed drank too much. However, simply knowing your guilty does not mean you give up. Instead, you hire an experienced lawyer who specializes in DUI, who can protect your rights, and who can make an effective defense.

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