Sobering Drunk Driving Statistics
Sometimes, we are informed that something is bad, but never given the reason for it being bad. Here are some reasons why most people in America are so against drunk driving and why DUI laws are so strict.
From The CDC
On the topic of Impaired Driving, the CDC begins with a grim statement:
“Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $59 billion”.
When you think about it, the numbers are truly terrifying. 10,950 die from a drunk driver related accident each year. Unfortunately, it’s sad to say that it is surprising how low this number is.
How Is Close To 11,000 Deaths Low?
About 1.4 million drivers are arrested on average each year for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. However, 112 million Americans self-report that they drove impaired each year. To be frank, even a single death related to alcohol-impaired driving is heart-breaking, but when you consider the number of impaired drivers on the road, we might even say that we are lucky that there are not more deaths.
Why Aren’t There More Deaths?
While we don’t want more deaths related to alcohol, it is important to question why.
First, not every alcohol-impaired traffic incident results in a death or even an injury.
Secondly, traffic enforcement officers look for visual driving indicators that give them insight into who might be driving impaired. Basically, with more alcohol in your body, you drive worse and it is easier for police officers to find and arrest you. Most DUI and DWAI arrests are due to the driver driving like an impaired-driver which lead them to get pulled over.
Thirdly, there are way more drivers on the road than police officers, which allows highly-impaired drivers to get away with it. However, sometimes these people get away from the law, and instead head into an accident.
Finally, impaired is defined by varying state laws which is most commonly defined as having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.08%. The average male can consume two standard drinks in the first hour and have one standard drink each hour after that to stay under .08% BAC, while the average woman can consume one standard drink per hour. Different people have varying motor skills, and alcohol affects people differently. However, at a certain point even a Nascar driver cannot drive safely with enough alcohol in their system. A BAC of .3 can put you in a coma, while a BAC of .4 could kill you.
The statistic that says 112 million Americans report that they drove impaired does not give you any information on their BAC and neither does the traffic death data. It is safe to say that it is absolutely more difficult for an officer to track down a driver with a BAC of .08% versus .15% BAC. Further, it is more likely that driver with a higher BAC will be in an accident. This isn’t to say that plenty of people with BAC levels of .08% get into traffic accidents that result in death. The point is that many people were able to drive without an accident because they didn’t get caught and they still retained enough motor skills to do so.
Just because you got away and didn’t hurt anyone does not make it alright and you should always avoid driving impaired.
Your first DUI or DWAI charge should be taken as a second chance, especially if it wasn’t because of an accident. Why? Because you or someone else didn’t get hurt or die. This life lesson should not be taken lightly, but we believe that if you truly learned your lesson then you should fight your charge. We don’t believe that it’s alright to drink and drive, but we also know that people make mistakes that they can learn from. A DUI or DWAI can change your life permanently in a negative way and if you have learned your lesson, then you deserve a second chance.
If you have learned from your mistake but facing a DUI charge in Boulder, Colorado, please obtain the premium services of Boulder DUI Attorney Phil Clark. With experience as a former prosecutor and defense, Phil has seen all aspects of the law to fight for your DUI, DWAI, or DUID case. Contact Us for a FREE Consultation today!