There is nothing wrong with having a bit of fun – meeting up with friends after work for a few drinks, catching up and simply spending time together. However, when it’s time to head home, make sure you don’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car when you’ve had a drink, regardless of how small the amount you’ve had. Let us examine some statistics and facts about drinking and driving and why it makes practical sense to be sober behind the wheels.
An Alarming Reality
In the United States alone, an average of 30 people die every day due to vehicular accidents that are caused – directly and indirectly – by drunk driving. That makes one death every 48 minutes. This is quite an alarming rate, and all because of carelessness and lack of responsibility among drivers. The mortality rates attributed to alcohol-related vehicular accidents are just as disturbing. During the year 2010, of all the deaths in the US that are caused by traffic accidents, 31% (or 10,228 deaths) is due to drunk driving.
What is being done in the face of this alarming reality? Police authorities and traffic enforcers clearly have their hands full. In 2010, a total of 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence. These arrests would have been unnecessary if only drivers are responsible enough to gain awareness about drinking and driving, and its consequences.
Repercussions and Issues Arising From Drunk Driving
Apart from death, injuries, and loss of or damage to property, there are also a number of legal repercussions faced by anyone who gets arrested for driving while intoxicated. Expect to face criminal penalties; you’ll most likely spend some jail time and be slapped with a large fine. The duration of jail time and the amount of the fines will vary from state to state.
Also, there are some states and jurisdictions that impose graver consequences. Drivers who get caught red-handed should also expect to be facing a number of administrative and civil penalties, again, depending on the DUI court or state. The driver’s license may be revoked or suspended, or he could be ordered to complete DUI diversion programs, as they do in the state of California.
At the end of the day, however, the best way to prevent any of these from happening would be to exercise caution. Do not drink and drive. Know your limits. If you know you’ve imbibed alcohol, no matter how small, it is better to be safe than sorry.