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Drunk Driving: a Serious Problem & Social Stigma

Despite widespread awareness of the humungous risks and harsh legal consequences of drunk driving, it remains an impasse of the American society. Drinking under the influence is not seen as a hazard until after one encounters a life-threatening incident. Motor Accidents Attorney Tulsa, OK, points out that about a 100 people die in car crashes every day, and alcohol-impaired drivers are responsible for around 30 of those deaths. The financial burden of alcohol related accidents on the U.S economy amounts to almost $45 billion per annum. In the year 2016, almost 10,500 people died at the hands of drunk drivers, and more than 200 of them were children aged 14 and below.

How Alcohol affects the Driver’s Mind and Body

Everyone does not have the same tolerance levels for alcohol, but one can develop endurance or resistance to drunkenness over time. Alcoholic drinks are a significant part of the American lifestyle, and perhaps a necessity in all sorts of social gatherings. The rule of thumb is simple: if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink; yet too many people have a hard time getting that concept around their head. Young and inexperienced drivers (between the ages 16 and 25) are responsible for the majority of DUI/DWI crimes.

The euphoria we experience after a drink or a few is connected to the impairment of our brain cells. Allowing yourself to let lose may grant you an edge in a few situations, but getting behind the wheel is definitely not one of them. The relaxation and warmth you feel within is accompanied by loss of judgment and reduced muscle coordination. As alcohol content in the bloodstream increases, the performance of the central nervous system decreases. After the BAC levels hit 0.08 percent, the probability of being involved in a car accident grows exponentially.

When the BAC levels are as low as 0.02%, visual functions and the ability to multitask begins to decline. At 0.05%, the driver faces difficulty keeping up with fast moving objects, steering, and responding to a sudden emergency, such as an unanticipated obstacle on the highway. At 0.08% the driver’s concentration and perception has regressed substantially, which also leads to short-term memory loss.

When BAC levels reach 0.10%, the driver’s reaction time is delayed to an alarming extent; supplementary symptoms include physical imbalance, blurry vision, slurred speech, compromised auditory processing, and uncontainable muscle movement. When BAC levels are 0.15% or beyond, it is a wonder if the driver is even conscious of his/her surroundings.

Prevention of Drunk Driving Fatalities

Drunk driving is a serious issue that needs to be addressed more extensively. Many governmental and private campaigns have been organized to spread awareness, which has slightly improved statistics; yet, we have a long way to go to reach a point where the situation should be considered under control. DUI education for adolescents at school needs to be revised, in order to raise its impact. Parents must play an imperative role in disciplining the youth and keeping them safe. Every U.S state has a zero tolerance policy against driving under the influence, which discourages many first time offenders from repeating the mistake.

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