Whenever you type on the Google search bar: “drunk driving statistics”, the number of cases will be around thousand times. And this number is increasing as the time goes by. Be it in the form of alcohol-related accident or legal arrest due to driving under influence. This will be our main focus of this article: 10 dangers of driving under alcohol influence. Since anyone knows the dangers, the number of cases is not decreasing.
Let’s portray it by number: in United States, nearly 23 people die everyday because of accidents. All of the cases are involving alcohol-impaired driver. In 2014, there are 10.000 Americans died due to alcohol-related accidents. Almost 1,1 million people were being arrested for driving under alcohol influence in the same year. The alcohol-related accidents hold around one third of all traffic deaths.
Before talking about 10 dangers of driving under alcohol influence, let’s get to know more about this DUI.
Driving Under Influence
The phrase “Driving Under Influence” means driving automotive vehicles with alcohol above the legal limit. Automotive in this term means a lot: car, motorcycle, plane, ship, jet, bicycle, and any other forms of automotive vehicles. Terms driving under influence also called DWI or “driving while intoxicated”. This can refer to alcohol or narcotic influence. The legal limit of alcohol intake is measured by BAC or blood alcohol content. Most of the countries mentioned the legal limit is 0,08 percent blood alcohol content.
The driving under influence situation is heavily risky when involving people with alcohol use disorder. As we know, these people fail to perform the ability to control the intake of alcohol to their body. They have the habit to drink alcohol in large amount, leading to careless driving. People categorized to alcohol use disorder are those who drink above the limit.
The UK Medical Officers in August 2016 found the low risk unit guidance for drinking alcohol, which 14 units for a week. People with alcohol use disorder fail to follow this guidance. How to notice this condition? We can conclude it by detecting the 10 dangers of driving under alcohol influence.
When people are driving carelessly, the police officer would know this. So it’s not just in a movie that the police officers stop the suspicious driver. The police officers will ask for the driving documents and licenses. If they smell the alcohol odor, the examination will be longer. They will conduct blood alcohol content test. If the result is exceeding the limit, the driver will be arrested.
What is more interesting about this? The regular drinkers in age of 21 until 24 years old are the highest percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes. Mostly the accidents happened when they drove after attending parties or other social events. This is the statistic of 2012. The number is getting high hence the awareness to drive carefully decreasing.
Before that, the drivers in age 16 until 20 years old also accounted 10 times higher to be involved in road accidents. These ages are compared to above 21 years old. But after then, many high school initiated regulations that prohibited the students to drink in such a young age. This initiative resulted in lower accident involving below 21 years old drivers.
Body Metabolism Under Alcohol Influence
The body needs averagely one hour to process the alcohol intake. And it takes around 30 minutes until 2 hours for the alcohol to be absorbed in the bloodstream. The liver produces enzyme to break the alcohol. During this process, if the body can’t tolerate the amount of alcohol in the body, there will be serious consequences. This condition will be worse if the person is having hangover. To have a clearer picture of how the body will respond after consuming alcohol, check these points out:
- Low concentration and unable to keep the focus span, hence failed to process information needed during driving
- The vital motor or cognitive skills will be decreased, like the eye, hand, and foot coordination
- The brain will need longer time to process anything happens around during driving
- Blurred eye vision and unable to control eye movement
- Slurred speech is usually detected by police officers during their arrest to suspicious driver
- Slow breathing when the alcohol already absorbed to the bloodstream
- Loss short term memory and unable to understand what is going on
- Extreme loss of balance
The effects mentioned above are just the usual conditions. It can be different from one person to another, from time to time. Nevertheless, driving is an activity that requires high concentration and ability to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. These functions won’t work effectively if someone is drank. At this point, there will be 10 dangers of driving under alcohol influence, such as:
- Accident or highway injury is the ultimate danger of driving under alcohol influence. It is the result of the side effects mentioned above. Careless driving will most likely ended with accident or crash.
- Put other people at risk. When someone is driving under alcohol influence, he won’t be able to respond to accidental things on the road, like lane moving, turn around, or motorcycle passing by all of sudden. It’s not a new thing that drank drivers can put other people at danger by their bad habit of driving.
- Unable to focus. Like what we mentioned above, driving requires focus and high concentration. When someone is unable to focus, he can’t follow the traffic signals and guidance around him.
- Judgment skill of a person who is driving under alcohol influence is declining. In driving, it’s important to have good judgment skill to decide what to do in respond of any movement around.
- Being arrested by police officers due to driving under alcohol influence will lead to loss of freedom. The jail time is waiting if you are proven to break the law.
- Bad record in law will lead to the risk of unemployment. Most companies don’t accept employee who ever involved with jail.
- The relationship with family and friends also troubled.
- Financial difficulties are unavoidable as the situation is becoming worse. If not being jailed, sometimes you have to give money to pay penalty or fines. You also need to spare extra time to manage the suspended driving license.
- If the accident was bad, it will be more likely you will face difficulty about insurance.
- Each country has different standard related to alcohol-involved accidents. You need to pay the legal penalty, and mostly the amount is not a little.
By examining the 10 dangers of driving under alcohol influence above, we can conclude that any form of drinking and driving is extremely illegal. It’s not an easy task to drive carefully on the road, moreover if you add alcohol to this activity. National Statistics mentioned that there were 12000 deaths every year in driving under alcohol influence-related accidents. While for arresting, one third of the drivers are repeat offenders. Make conscious choice and educate the youth. If it has been a habit, try to do a rehab treatment. Conscious choices are important if it’s related with driving.