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M. Brandon Smith
M. Brandon Smith
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Drunk Driving And The Accidents It Causes

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Drunk driving will impact one in in three of us. – MADD

Plain and simple, alcohol affects coordination and lessens a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. On average someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes (NHSTA 2008). If that isn’t sobering, I don’t know what it is.

DUI (“driving under the influence”) does not pertain strictly to alcohol; it can also mean a driver was under the influence of illegal drugs such as cocaine. Also, a driver can be held liable for failing to follow the warning label of prescription medications.

Drivers operating a vehicle under the influence fail to use reasonable care while driving. In most cases, drivers found to be operating under the influence are presumed negligent in drunk driving accidents. As such, the driver is typically found liable for injuries and damages if driving under the influence.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Every year more than 17,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents in the U.S. and 500,000 are injured. That equates to one alcohol-related accident every 32 minutes.

Alcohol-related crashes cost the public an estimated $114 billion each year. This includes an estimated $63.2 billion lost in quality of life due to these crashes.

More statistics can be found here (PDF).

Georgia DUI Statistics

Georgia ranks 7. See where your state ranks.

3 time offenders: 45,598

5 time offenders: 5,782

DUI Fatalities: 298

% of total traffic deaths DUI related 24

The state has good law enforcement of drunk driving laws. In 2011, an all offender interlock bill nearly made it to the Senate floor but ran out of time. MADD hopes it will pass in 2012.

* The above information was quote from the MADD Web site and can be viewed in its entirety.

What is .08? The amount of alcohol in a person’s body is measured by the weight of the alcohol in certain volume of blood. This is referred to as blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In short, the amount of alcohol required to become impaired differs based on several facts including gender, how fast you drink, weight and how much food is in your stomach. For most people, at .08 the driver is considered impaired.

Please take a second to review the chart on the MADD Web site which highlights the effects of alcohol at different blood alcohol concentrations.

Worth the read: Poignant reminders of the dangers of drunk driving: A letter to the editor. But the most important reminder of all is – Don’t Drink & Drive. Designate a driver or if you drink more than anticipated call a friend or cab, don’t drive.