According to the CDC, almost one-third of all fatal car crashes in the United States involve alcohol impairment.
Drunk driving is a serious problem, causing about 10,000 deaths per year. When you choose to drive yourself home after a night of drinking, you aren’t just putting your own life at risk, but the lives of everyone else on the road with you.
Alcohol is a sedative. The effects begin on your body the minute you take your first sip. It is a drug that is quickly absorbed into your blood and interferes with the way your brain works.
What is the legal limit to drive?
It used to vary by state, but now across the nation, .08 percent is the legal limit to drive. The only exception to this is Utah, where the limit has recently been lowered to .05.
There have been calls to lower the limit to .05 in other states as well, but for now, it remains at .08 in all the other states. For those 21 and under, many states have a zero-tolerance policy. This means it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with any level of blood alcohol content at all.
How many drinks before your blood alcohol content gets to .08?
Each serving of alcohol causes your blood content to rise by .02 percent. So technically this means 4 drinks would get you to .08 percent.
However, this varies based on body weight and other factors. Also, women tend to reach higher blood alcohol levels faster.
What are the dangers of drunk driving?
Lack of coordination
Drinking reduces your coordination. After heavy drinking, you may find yourself swaying while trying to walk or falling easier. Losing these motor skills can severely impair your ability to drive.
Slower Reaction Times
Research has shown that drinking severely reduces your ability to act quickly. A drunk driver may feel that they can stay on the road and drive properly, but if anything unexpected happens; a car pulls out suddenly, or a pedestrian crosses the street, they will not have their usual reaction time to avoid an accident.
Alcohol has been found to impact vision. People with high alcohol content in their blood may experience blurry vision and decreased control over their eye movement.
Judgment becomes impaired
Driving a car requires a lot of split decision making and good judgment skills.
When your judgment becomes impaired during drinking, you are not able to make fast decisions such as should I swerve to miss an obstruction or is it better to put on the brakes? Drinking severely lowers your ability to make good driving decisions.
Alcohol severely impacts your ability to concentrate on the road, on other drivers, on traffic signals, and even in staying in your lane.
Drunk driving is a serious problem. If you have found yourself drinking heavily and making impaired decisions, such as getting behind the wheel of your car, you should get help.
Alcohol can be highly addictive and there are experts to help. If you are in the Houston area, contact Houston Sober Living for help today.