Many states require offenders to install ignition interlock devices at the driver’s own expense. An ignition interlock device is a breath test device connected to a vehicle’s ignition. The vehicle cannot be operated unless the driver blows into the interlock and has a BAC below a pre-set low limit, usually .02 g/dL. NHTSA strongly supports the expansion of ignition interlocks as a proven technology that keeps drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Alcohol’s sedating effects impair a driver’s decision-making skills and coordination. An impaired driver lacks the ability to quickly and decisively avoid an accident or even perform routine driving maneuvers. Drunk drivers endanger themselves and everyone on the road, increasing the risk of automobile crashes and deaths.

Examining your past decisions around drinking and driving

NHTSA’s Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk Study found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in crashes. However, the increased risk may be due in part because marijuana users are more likely to be young men, who are generally at a higher risk of crashes. From 2003 to 2012, there was a nearly consequences of drinking and driving 21 percent increase in women 18 and over arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and an 18.6 percent increase in women arrested for drunkenness. Despite this increase, men were still responsible for the majority of DUI arrests in 2012 – almost 650,000 compared with about 211,000 for women.

By contrast, the proportion of Hispanic drivers with positive BACs increased from 3.3 to 7.5 percent. The number of Hispanic drivers surveyed increased sevenfold during that time period (Voas et al. 1997). Consistent with the fatality data, males were much more likely to report driving after drinking than females (31 percent vs. 13 percent). Drivers under 21, and particularly those between 16 and 18, were the least likely of any age group of drivers to report driving after drinking, and drivers ages 21 to 45 were the most likely to report this behavior. The most harmful event in fatal crashes also varied considerably according to driver BAC (see table 6).

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

In other words, the criminal court will impose a suspension period as a consequence of the conviction itself (regardless of whether or not the DMV imposed an administrative suspension). The percent alcohol by volume (alc/vol) for distilled spirits is listed on bottle labels and may be found online as well. That way you can estimate how many standard drinks you’re being served in a restaurant or bar that uses large glasses and generous serving sizes.

Drinking and driving can result in serious injury, fatality, damage and legal ramifications. Despite all the warnings, public awareness and educational programs, and stiffer penalties for violations, people will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while intoxicated. Drunk driving numbers for high schoolers decreased by half between 1991 and 2012, but teens are still at risk whether they are the drivers or not. Safe driving requires focus, coordination, good judgment, and quick reactions to the environment. Alcohol consumption impairs your thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination — all vital to operating a vehicle safely.

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