Drunk driving can lead to grave consequences in the form of hefty fines, penalties, and possible jail time. Wherever you are in the United States, it’s a serious crime to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol. More commonly referred to as DUI or DWI, anybody caught drinking and driving may face grave legal consequences and would need a DUI defense attorney to represent them in court.
DUI or DWI involves driving a vehicle with at least 0.08% blood alcohol content. And while that level may not seem much to you, even the smallest amount of alcohol in the body can lead to road accidents and potentially life-threatening situations.
To help you grasp just how dangerous drunk driving is, here are some facts:
1. 25% of Fatal Car Crashes Involve Drunk Driving
Vehicular accidents are considered to be one of the primary causes of death for teenagers in the United States, and most cases usually have something to do with the decision to drink and drive. The thing about drunk driving is that it does not only endanger the life of the drivers but that of the passengers and the pedestrians they encounter on the road.
2. One Out of Three Deaths Attributed to Driving Accidents Involves a Driver with a BAC Over the Legal Limit
The fact that a third of driving-related deaths in the U.S. are due to driving under the influence means that DUI is a prevalent problem in the country.
Intoxicated driving exponentially increases the chances of vehicular accidents, which is why most states have stringent laws and consequences for DUI offenses. Those of legal age may not have more than 0.08% BAC while driving. Underage drivers, on the other hand, should not have any alcohol in their system while operating a vehicle.
3. Less Than 0.08 BAC Can Still Impair Your Driving Skills
Driving with a BAC of 0.08 is considered ‘legally impaired’ in most states and will get you arrested if you’re suspected of drunk driving. This, however, does not mean that driving with a BAC of less than 0.08 is generally safe.
Studies show that as little as 0.02 BAC in the body can already affect a person’s perception and impair their driving skills.
4. A DUI Arrest Will Cost You
Getting arrested for a DUI offense will burn a hole in your pocket. You’ll have to shell out thousands of dollars for the litigation costs and, if convicted, for the fines. The court is also likely to demand that you pay for the damages, and this can sky-rocket to amounts you can’t even begin to imagine.
Aside from these expenses, a DUI conviction will also result in jail time, which means you’ll miss work or, worse, lose your job. If that happens, how will you be able to pay for the fines and damages?
5. A DUI Arrest Entails Varying Degrees of Legal Consequences
Punishments for DUI may differ from state to state and depends on the gravity of the offense. Those who are charged with DUI may face some or all of the following consequences:
- Suspended driver’s license
- Community service
- Higher car insurance
- Jail time
6. Drunk Driving is a Crime
If you think that drunk driving is something you can quickly get away with, you better think again. Every state in the country considers drunk driving crime and imposes severe legal consequences for those who are caught breaking the law, charges of someone getting hurt, or being killed in the accident. Felony crimes involve longer jail time and steep fines and could change your life forever, even more so for repeated offense. While a first-time DUI offender is often only a misdemeanor, you may face a felony.
7. Every 50 minutes, a Person Dies in a Drunk-Driving Crash
Statistics from the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2016, intoxicated driving claimed 29 lives daily. That’s one person dying from a DUI-related accident every 50 minutes.
8. Drunk Driving is a Choice
You may want to drive home after a party or a night out with your friends, but you shouldn’t when you’ve had too much to drink. There are other and safer ways of getting home. When you’re going out with a bunch of people, see if someone’s willing to be the designated driver for the evening. If not, you can always hail a taxi or make arrangements with a ride-sharing service to take you home. It’s better to take safety precautions now than to be sorry later.