Most people know that it's not safe to drive under the influence of alcohol, yet some drivers are under the impression that they can get away with it if it only happens once in a while. In many cases, they may go unnoticed by police and get home without causing a crash. But alcohol impairment reduces drivers' reaction time, judgment, concentration, and physical coordination. It only takes one small error in judgment or a mistake to cause a serious car accident.
Drivers willing to operate a car with an illegal BAC
Is taking the chance really worth it? According to a recent survey conducted by insurance marketplace website The Zebra, some drivers are willing to take that risk. About six percent of survey respondents said that they only feel unfit to drive after having more than five alcoholic beverages. Let that sink in for a moment. For every alcoholic drink a person consumes, their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level can increase by as much as 0.02 percent. That means drivers who have had four or five drinks can easily cross the legal threshold of 0.08 percent.
According to the NHTSA, drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent experience poor muscle coordination, difficulty detecting danger, poor judgment, loss of self-control, loss of memory, and impaired perception of situations.
Buzzed driving is still impaired driving
The Zebra survey also found that more than a quarter of respondents said they feel unfit to drive after 3-4 drinks. That's still enough to cause impairment, even if drivers don't reach a BAC of 0.08 percent. Alcohol impairment can start at a BAC as low as 0.02 percent. This is enough to cause some loss of judgment, increased relaxation, and decline in visual functioning. Couple that with distracted driving, driving while tired, or driving at night or in inclement weather, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Additional survey results reveal that nearly 19 percent of respondents admitted that they have driven while buzzed at some point. Another two percent said that they have driven while high and five percent have driven while buzzed and high at the same time.
Responsibility saves lives
The majority of The Zebra survey respondents said that they are aware of their limits when it comes to consuming alcohol. Many of them said that they find safer alternatives to driving.
For example, roughly 40 percent of respondents said that they call a friend or loved one to drive them home after they have consumed alcohol. About a quarter of respondents use rideshare services and 10 percent simply walk home.
Other ways to avoid impaired driving include staying at a friend or relative's house or designating a sober driver.
Get experience on your side if you were hurt in a drunk driving crash
In 2018, more than 10,000 people died in the U.S. due to drunk driving crashes. Approximately 334 reported drunk driving fatalities happened in Pennsylvania. Many people who survive drunk driving crashes end up sustaining debilitating injuries. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash, you deserve justice.
Attorney Edward P. McNelis has nearly four decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured motorists and their families. He'll get to the bottom of what happened and take on the insurance companies for you. The only thing you need to focus on is your recovery. Let attorney McNelis fight to help you recover every dollar you're entitled to. Contact our Hazleton, PA law office to schedule your free consultation.