In 2012, an estimated 29.1 million admitted to being under the influence of alcohol when they operated their vehicle. The year after, 1,171,935 drivers were arrested due to alcohol-impaired driving or driving under the influence (DUI): these information are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Alcohol-impaired driving remains to be a major concern for authorities; this is in spite of the continuous educational programs, ads and warnings on drivers from the federal, state and local government agencies and various private concerned groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Despite the very high number of those guilty of drunk-driving, it is a good thing that fatal accidents due to alcohol-impairment only totaled to 10,076 and 9,967 in 2013 and 2014, respectively.;these figures are based on cases of fatal accidents reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA).
Many different studies have shown and proven that alcohol weakens the mental capacity and motor skills of people who drink. It specifically affects an individual’s perception, judgment, coordination, reaction time, and overall ability in keeping his or her focus. In all U.S. states, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for car drivers is 0.08%, this may be reached after 4 alcoholic drinks within an hour, according to the CDC. Studies have also shown, though, that even at 0.02% BAC (about 2 alcoholic drinks), a person’s ability to perform two tasks at the same time may already be reduced; other effects include decline in visual functions and some loss of judgment. Now, if a 0.02% BAC level already has an impact in a person which may affect his or her driving, how much more will a 0.08% BAC affect his or her capability in operating a vehicle safely? With weakened or impaired control over his or her skills, risks of accident and injury increase; this is basically the reason why drunk driving is considered a major traffic offense.
The millions of arrests and thousands of fatal accidents every year only show how reckless or careless so many drivers are. Drunk-driving not only results to statistical data; it destroys lives of victims and of victims’ families. According to The Benton Law Firm, filing a civil lawsuit against at-fault drunk-drivers to seek compensation is not enough. A criminal suit which will punish the at-fault driver, if only to keep him or her from repeating the very wrong thing he or she has committed is probably necessary.