• Drunken Driving Facts

    Drunken Driving Facts

    Alcohol intoxication in the body brings out various deterring effects not only to the drunken person but also to the innocent victims as a whole. It is well known that aside from, texting and taking calls while driving, taking the wheels alone while excessively drunk is also one of the highly recognized and profound reasons of road accidents and vehicular deaths. Although there have been good records on decreasing cases of accidents and fatalities related to drunken driving, the number on records still has pose an alarm to the government to continually pursue and implement rules and regulations on managing and decreasing the drunken driving cases.

    Legal Actions against Drunken Driving

    There are two statutory offenses charge to driving under the influence of alcohol. These basically include the first and original offense known as ‘driving under the influence of alcohol’ or DUI, ‘driving while intoxicated/ impaired’ or DWI; otherwise known as operating motor vehicle while intoxicated/ impaired or OWI. Since the alarming number of drunken driving related cases starting 1982 which have now decreased to 49 percent, these three are still strictly regulated in all 50 states across the United States and Puerto Rico based upon driving behavior and positive alcohol tests. While drunken driving is a social problem, DWI courts actually aims to reduce the accidents and crimes related to it and address hard-core offenders by treating alcohol addiction or alcoholism.

    DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol is a violation that applies in accordance with the federal highway mandates. This law gives importance to the person’s age as a consideration to define legal drinking. In these cases, all states have defined the age of 21 as legal age for alcohol drinking while ages below are considered as illegal. Under this law, any driver who has been suspected for alcohol drinking through the impaired driving behavior, slurred speech, and bad mouth odor may undergo a several tests using specialized alcohol testing kits like sobriety test, breath alcohol tester, and most specially the BAC test to assess the percentage of alcohol in the body. In records, the standard BAC limit in the body should be at an average of 10 percent; otherwise, the suspected person may be placed under DUI charges.

    DWI and OW I – Driving while intoxication or operating vehicles while intoxicated is a violation that applies to any driver who operates motor vehicles while intoxicated with alcohol even though it is highly prohibited in places like United States. Any driver who is put under DWI investigation basically undergoes sobriety test to check if intoxication is related to drug intake by measuring the coordination ability. Otherwise the drunk driver may be penalized with drunken driving charges or may undergo another test to analyze the BAC in the body through a breath alcohol tester.  Unlike sobriety test, this test has proven to be more accurate by analyzing the breathe sample obtained from the subject. When proven positive, the suspect may put under penalties of fines, community, or imprisonment.

    Scoring the Round-Up

    Records still show a large number of people dying from vehicular accidents whose drivers are excessively drunk with alcohol, although it has been said to have decreased since 1982. Just in 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 32 percent decreased which is equivalent to 33, 808 traffic crashes fatalities of which an estimated 10, 839 died from drunken driving accidents. This is a 49 percent decreased from the 21,113 total since 1982 as a result of the national efforts to control drunken driving incidents.

    The table below shows a record of alcohol related death recorded since 1982, on which the NHTSA started recording data.

    Total Number

    of

    Fatalities

    Alcohol

    Related

    Fatalities

    Year

    Number

    Number

    Percent

    1982

    43,945

    26,173

    60

    1983

    42,589

    24,635

    58

    1984

    44,257

    24,762

    56

    1985

    43,825

    23,167

    53

    1986

    46,087

    25,017

    54

    1987

    46,390

    24,094

    52

    1988

    47,087

    23,833

    51

    1989

    45,582

    22,424

    49

    1990

    44,599

    22,587

    51

    1991

    41,508

    20,159

    49

    1992

    39,250

    18,290

    47

    1993

    40,150

    17,908

    45

    1994

    40,716

    17,308

    43

    1995

    41,817

    17,732

    42

    1996

    42,065

    17,749

    42

    1997

    42,013

    16,711

    40

    1998

    41,501

    16,673

    40

    1999

    41,717

    16,572

    40

    2000

    41,945

    17,380

    41

    2001

    42,196

    17,400

    41

    2002

    43,005

    17,524

    41

    2003

    42,643

    17,013

    40

    2004

    42,518

    16,919

    39

    2005

    43,443

    16,885

    39

    2006

    42,532

    15,829

    37

    2007

    41,059

    15,387

    37

    2008

    37,261

    13,846

    37

    This data is taken from http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html

    The concern actually lies, on the blood alcohol content (BAC) found on the person’s body. According to records from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), drivers who entail .16 BAC and beyond, were of the highest risk for fatal injuries. These drivers are known to be hardcore drunk drivers who have been previously penalized for DUI or DWI. Death on driving motor vehicles under this situation has posed the highest record compared to other vehicles while most suspects have also been found to be male whose ages range from 25 to 35 years old.  According to NHTSA, records in 2009 showed a total of 70 percent fatalities involving drunk drivers with .15 BAC in the body of which 44 percent have been convicted against DWI and DUI. Nevertheless another important thing to note is the drunken driving cases among persons under the age of 21, which have progressively decreased, according to records. From a total of 5, 125 in NHTSA records in 2009 showed a decrease of 13 percent which accounts to at least 1, 398.

    Reducing Drunken Driving-Related Accidents

    The following are the counter measures and actions pursued by the NHTSA to reduce accidents and fatalities cause by drunken driving.

    • In case anyone is found guilty under the charges, the driver may be subject to immediate license revocation or confiscation while may also be impounded or immobilized
    • Wide expansion of alcohol awareness and server program
    • Requirements to pass alcohol testing. Today the alcohol testing kits have been known to detect alcoholic consumption within the 80 hours which makes it more reliable and accurate.
    • Implementation of social norms program to correct misinformation on driving while drunk with alcohol

    Safety Precautions on the Need to Drive after drinking
    Some people may need to go home after a party or any occasion. Since drunken driving poses high danger, the following are safety reminders from NHTSA on the need to drive despite being drink.

    • According to records, about 80 percent of alcohol-related fatalities are caused by beer consumption; hence, the first thing to remember when the need to drive after drinking is highly necessary, avoid getting fooled by a simple bottle of beer or any liquor as it contains typical amount of alcohol enough to impair your vital senses.
    • Know your limit especially if it is your first time drinking and whether or not you are only experimenting. A glass of wine may possibly have deterring effects to the body which develops easy and faster drunkenness.
    • Always eat before drinking. Foods like meat, cheese, and peanuts which are rich protein helps slow the alcohol absorption in the body.
    • Avoid drinking unfamiliar liquor. For instance, some fruit drinks can be very much to deceiving specially to beginners.
    • Lastly, avoid taking pharmaceuticals after drinking alcohol as it poses high danger. Most people experience complications especially when drinking liquors while taking medication; hence, it would be best to consult your primary care physician and follow advices.

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-dwi.htm

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-dui.htm

    http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/DrinkingAndDriving.html

    http://www.centurycouncil.org/drunk-driving/drunk-driving-research

    http://www.calculateme.com/car-insurance-articles/drunk-driving-facts.htm

    http://drunkdrivingfacts.org/

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