According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 people die every day in avoidable drunk driving accidents nationwide. This is in addition to the thousands of drunk driving accident victims who are seriously injured each year.
April 1 marks the beginning of National Alcohol Awareness Month. Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourages you to drink responsibly and educate yourself about the risks of driving under the influence.
For those whose lives have been impacted by drunk driving, legal recourse may be available. Contact us today to speak with a drunk driving victim attorney.
The Effects of Drinking and Driving
The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in every U.S. state is 0.08 with the exception of Utah, which is 0.05. But what does that mean? How many drinks will put someone over the legal limit?
The reality is that alcohol is metabolized differently from person to person depending on tolerance, body composition, and other factors. The only way to be truly sure that you’re under the legal limit is not to drive unless you’re 100% sober. It’s also important to note that you may still be too impaired to operate a vehicle even if your BAC is under the legal limit.
Some of the effects of alcohol on your ability to drive include:
- Loss of Coordination. Drinking alcohol can significantly reduce your hand, foot, and eye coordination, which are crucial to operating a vehicle.
- Impaired Reaction Time. Situations can change quickly on the road. It’s important to maintain a quick reaction time behind the wheel, but drinking can slow your reflexes.
- Decreased Concentration. Your mind is more likely to wander when you’ve been drinking, and you may be more easily distracted.
- Compromised Decision-Making. Alcohol consumption can make you prone to making irrational decisions, which can be deadly on the road.
Safety Tips for Drivers and Passengers
The best way to avoid drunk driving accidents is by planning ahead. Drivers and passengers can do their part in reducing the number of drunk driving accident victims throughout April and beyond by following these safety tips.
Tip #1: Make Advance Arrangements
While we as a society are keeping our distance, we may still make plans that allow us to socialize with others. Virtual happy hours, outdoor gatherings at neighbors or friends, etc.
If you do make plans for the night that involve alcohol, plan ahead for alternate transportation and/or sleeping arrangements if you do so outside of your home.
Choosing a roommate, close friend, or family member as a designated driver may be the cheapest solution, although it will mean someone must remain sober for the duration of the night. Remember, if your designated driver decides to drink, you no longer have a designated driver!
Rideshare options like Uber and Lyft or taxis are another option to get to and from your location. You can also check to see what public transportation options are available.
Most importantly, you should keep in mind that part of planning ahead means anticipating the unexpected. If you drive somewhere and end up drinking, don’t let concerns about your vehicle lead you to drive home drunk. Call a friend or use a rideshare service to make sure you get home safe.
Tip #2: Keep An Eye on Your Friends
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk — don’t be afraid to take the car keys away from friends who are intoxicated and try to leave. Although they might not appreciate it in the moment, you’re ultimately doing them a favor and possibly saving their life.
Drinking can also be dangerous even if you don’t get behind the wheel. Keep an eye on your friends and watch for signs of alcohol poisoning. If your friend seems confused, can’t stay awake, vomits excessively, or cannot walk, seek medical attention right away.
Tip #3: Report Drunk Drivers
For as many drunk drivers who are pulled over and arrested for DUI, there are many more who may be on the road undetected by law enforcement. Spotting drunk drivers may not always be easy, but you can keep an eye out for the following behaviors:
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Accelerating or stopping quickly
- Irregular or erratic braking
- Incorrectly using turn signals
- Driving too slowly
If you see a suspected drunk driver on the road, call your local non-emergency police line and report it. Make sure to provide a good description of the vehicle, closest cross streets and the direction in which they are heading. Don’t put yourself at risk by driving around someone who may be driving impaired. Pull over to the side of the road before contacting police.
Drunk Driving Accident Victims May Be Entitled to Compensation
The effects of drunk driving can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligent or reckless actions of a drunk driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one to a drunk driver, a wrongful death attorney may be able to help you seek compensation to cover funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and more.
The personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys have the skills, experience, and tenacity necessary to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions in a court of law. Our legal team has helped countless drunk driving accident victims across the country get the compensation they deserve.
To get in touch with a car accident lawyer near you, call us at 844-977-1900. You can also chat with a live representative online, or submit the details of your case using our secure contact form. Consultations are always free.