Driving drunk is extremely dangerous, both for yourself and for pedestrians and other drivers. Driving is a difficult and dangerous activity that requires your full concentration, and few things can impair your ability to give driving an adequate level of concentration like being under the influence. Here are some sobering facts about drunk driving you should be aware of.
1) On average, 27 people will be killed in a drunk driving crash every day.
That's equivalent to one person every 53 minutes. Furthermore, someone will be seriously injured every 90 seconds.
2) Roughly 33% of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives.
If we were able to eliminate drinking and driving, it would make our streets and highways significantly safer, eliminating 41% of all traffic fatalities. If you do drive drunk, you are not just putting yourself in danger, but everyone who will encounter you.
3) After drinking alcohol, there is nothing you can do to prevent yourself from being an impaired driver
Any tricks you've heard of, like coffee, exercise, or a cold shower will not make you less drunk and more capable of driving. The only thing you can do is get a sober designated driver and go home, waiting until the alcohol has left your system.
4) Lots of factors can make you "drunk" beyond simply the number of drinks you have
The law in most places is very strict about exceeding a blood alcohol content level of 0.08%, which is generally unavoidable after between 3-6 drinks. There are number of factors, such as whether or not you have been eating food, medications you are taking, weight, gender, and body fat. It is not enough merely to count drinks or compare yourself to someone else. When in doubt, don't get behind the wheel.
5) Your ability to drive is impaired even within a legal limit.
You may not be drunk, but even a slight "buzz" can harm your ability to drive. A BAC level of .02 percent, which can be caused by just one drink, will result in a loss of judgment, and a relaxed mood that can make it harder to do two things at once. A BAC level of .05 may be technically "legal" in some jurisdictions, but can slow down your response time, make it difficult to track objects, affect your eye moments in such a way that can make driving more difficult.
6) The dangers of drunk driving apply to things other then motor vehicles.
Being impaired under the influence can be similarly life threatening and illegal on motorboats, jet skies, snowmobiles, and even bicycles. These things should also be avoided, and pose great risk to yourself and those around you.
7) It's not just alcohol
According to a report by the CDC, people driving under the influence of other drugs, mostly marijuana and cocaine cause 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. A study by Eduardo Romano found that driving under the influence of marijuana doubles the risk of a crash. Mixing marijuana and alcohol significantly raises the risk of impaired driving over drinking alone.
8) The risks are significantly higher for teenagers.
Both because growing bodies are less likely to handle alcohol, and are less experienced drivers, the risks go up astronomically. According to a 2013 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drunk driver. For that reason, in the U.S., anyone under 21 found driving with any alcohol in his or her system will automatically get his or her license revoked.
9) On average, a person may drive intoxicated more then 80 times before their first arrest
You may think you are "getting away with it," but you are putting people, and yourself, at incredibly high levels of risk.
10) Only time can truly get the alcohol out of your system
In general, it takes about one hour for alcohol to be removed from your blood stream. Weight, gender, and the state of your liver can affect this process. You might even be unable to drive still the morning after a night of binge drinking. The only way to be truly safe is to drink in moderation, and avoid drinking all together before you are going to be driving.