Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous because it can impair motor skills and reaction times. Even a small amount of alcohol can put you over the legal limit. Most states now have DUI laws in place that set blood alcohol level limits at 0.08 percent.
Blood Alcohol Limits
Blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is an objective measure of how much alcohol is present in the body. BAC is considered a fair measure for everyone because it is expressed as a percentage, not a standard quantity. Someone with a BAC of 0.08 has alcohol making up eight-tenths of one percent of his or her blood, regardless of his or her size or weight. Different people can drink different amounts and still have the same BAC. Find more information about BAC and the laws in your state at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's website.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes numerous accidents every year. Although DUI accidents are preventable, people continue to drink and drive. Here are a few of the disturbing statistics:
- In 2001, over 40 percent of fatal automobile accidents were alcohol-related.
- Approximately 30 percent of Americans will be in an accident involving alcohol.
- According to estimates, someone is injured in an alcohol-related accident every two minutes.
- Accidents involving alcohol are more likely to occur at night; about five times more likely.
- About two-thirds of DUI convictions are for first time offenders, meaning that more people continue to drive under the influence even after seeing DUI punishments meted out to others.
- More than one-third of all fatal traffic accidents in 2001 involved at least one person with a blood alcohol level over 0.08.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all but 3 percent of Americans cite drunk drivers as a serious hazard to their lives and families.
- Alcohol-related car accidents kill someone every 30 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes
- Male drivers involved in fatal auto accidents are almost twice as likely as female drivers to be intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 percent or greater
- 2002, 24 percent of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in auto accidents had been drinking alcohol
- In 2002, 22 percent of the 2,197 traffic fatalities among children ages 0 to 14 years involved alcohol
Contact an Attorney
If you have been charged with drunk driving, please contact an attorney in your area to protect your rights.