Over the years, people have been talking about the dangers of cocaine, crystal meth, heroin and other illicit hard drugs, and how they have destroyed countless lives all over the world. Governments have even gone to war because of drugs, and the drug war is still ongoing.
What many don’t realize, however, is that the substance that is posing a much greater danger to people from all walks of life is a legal one: alcohol. It may be legal, but according to scientists, alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world. The health problems related to alcohol use alone are already quite worrisome. Liver disease, cancer, pancreatitis, and cardiovascular disease are just some of the illnesses that alcohol consumption can bring.
Then there’s drunk driving, a problem that has persisted for decades, but many people seem to be unaware or simply dismissive of its many dangers. They just drink and drive, and rely on a DUI attorney in case they get arrested. Let’s take a look at some facts about drunk driving, some of which might just change the way you look at it.
Drunk driving has its consequences
Driving under the influence is a crime in all states, and a conviction carries with it serious consequences, including hefty fines and jail time.
Impaired driving can happen with less than 0.08 BAC
Most states have set the blood alcohol concentration or BAC limit at 0.08, but research has shown that driving skills start to decline even when a person’s BAC is at 0.02, which is way lower than the legal limit.
Drunk driving is a costly mistake
In the United States, the deaths and damages that drunk driving crashes cause cost approximately $52 billion per year.
One person dies in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, nearly 29 people in the U.S. died in drunk-driving vehicular accidents every day in 2016. That translates to one death every 50 minutes, a shocking figure by any standard.
NHTSA also says that in the same year, more than 1 million DUI arrests were made.
One drunk-driving crash killed 27 people
In May 1988, an intoxicated Larry Wayne Mahoney drove his black Toyota pick-up truck straight into a church activity bus outside of Carrollton, Kentucky. While the impact itself didn’t hurt anyone, it ruptured the gas tank and caused a fire that killed 27 of the bus’ 66 passengers. It remains the worst drunk driving accident in the history of the United States.
Drunk driving is a real problem that impacts the lives of many people, and not just the ones who drink and drive. As the facts above show, so many innocent lives have already been ruined by intoxicated people behind the wheel.
If you ever feel the urge to drive after a few drinks, think hard about the possible consequences. Stop yourself from drinking and driving, and you may just save lives—including your own.
Content for this article was contributed by Lane, Hupp, & Crowley, PLC, a Phoenix, AZ DUI attorney and partner of Intoxalock. They have over 35 years of combined experience defending clients in all types of criminal, regulatory, or administrative proceedings.