Drunk driving is disturbingly commonplace in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, nearly 10,000 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for about one-third of all traffic-related deaths. Most people driving under the influence of alcohol hardly bother about the extant norms. So, it is important to learn about the driving laws so that precious lives could be saved.
According to the CDC, more than one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or narcotics in 2014. It shows that some people may not be aware of the rules related to drunk driving. Knowing how the level of alcohol in blood is counted and other drunk driving laws will help in reducing DUI-related fatalities and accidents.
Blood alcohol concentration
The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of how much alcohol is in someone’s bloodstream. There are some factors that affect the BAC, such as size, weight, gender and the condition whether alcohol is consumed on an empty stomach.
BAC is measured by breathalyzer or by checking blood samples. The U.S. legal limit of BAC for those who are 21 years or older is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
Underestimation of distance and speed
Alcohol slows down the brain’s response time. Drunk people take some extra time to react to an incident. The distance that is covered while making a decision is called the thinking distance. For example, if one is drunk driving and suddenly a cat comes in front of his car, the driver will take some extra time to apply the brakes because he is drunk.
Drunk drivers also underestimate the distance and speed of other vehicles on the road. As the vision after drinks gets affected, it slows the reaction time even further. Besides, drunk drivers often overestimate their ability and tend to have more risk-taking nature.
Laws pertaining to drunk driving in US
In the U.S., driving with BAC at or above 0.08 is a crime, but penalties can significantly vary from state to state. Besides, there are specific BAC limits in some states for commercial drivers and those who have previous DUI offenses.
The minimum legal drinking age is 21 years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Having 21 as the minimum legal drinking age keeps young and inexperienced drivers from drinking and driving.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit partnership among federal, state and local governments in the U.S highlights that as many as 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands suspend the administrative license on first offence. This allows the law enforcement agencies to confiscate a driver’s license.
Moreover, all state-judges make the convicted drunk drivers install interlocks in their cars. An ignition interlock disables the engine once it detects alcohol in the driver’s breath. According to the GHSA, 22 states and 4 California counties have made ignition interlocks mandatory or highly incentivized for all the convicted drunk drivers, even including the first-time offenders.
Getting rid of alcohol addiction
Some people who become dependent on alcohol cannot stop drunk driving even when they know that there is a substantial risk involved in it. In such cases, the best way is to first treat the alcohol addiction.
If you are addicted to alcohol, you can take help from the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know about some of the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. You may chat online with our executives to find out more details about alcohol rehab centers in California. You can also call at 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 to get immediate assistance.Continue reading