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Most drivers on the road today know that alcohol impairs the ability to operate a vehicle safely. Even more understand that drunk driving can lead to expensive fines, legal convictions, jail time, and other serious consequences. Perhaps worst of all, driving drunk puts your life—and the lives of others—at risk of injury and even death.

Yet despite the widespread knowledge that drunk driving is a serious danger, few people have a firm grasp of the drunk driving facts and statistics on the subject. If you would like to have a better understanding of why driving drunk is a serious and deadly crime, keep reading. This article offers three sobering facts about drunk driving you need to know.

1. Alcohol Affects Judgment Even in Small Doses

Alcohol’s effects on the body are measured in terms of blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In most parts of the United States, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent is considered to be legally impaired. Keep in mind, you could still get arrested for drunk driving if your blood alcohol concentration is lower than 0.08 percent if the arresting officer determines that you are impaired. Even the lowest BAC level affects your ability to operate a vehicle safely.

The established 0.08 limit “is based on more than 30 years of scientific evidence”. According to Responsibility.org, the U.S. has come a long way since the first legal BAC limit (.15), which went into affect in 1938. What many people don’t realize is that, even when alcohol is in your bloodstream at lower levels, it can negatively impact your ability to drive a car.

Even a blood alcohol concentration as low as 0.02 percent has a measurable impact on your body and mind, potentially leading you to make poor judgments. At 0.05 percent, such impairments grow even more pronounced. You may also begin to lose your ability to control your eye muscles, which leads to blurry vision.

Even if your BAC level is below 0.08 percent, you may be arrested if you show clear signs of intoxication. The smartest way to avoid alcohol-related accidents, is to avoid driving if you’ve been drinking. Designated drivers, ride-hailing apps, and good old-fashioned taxis are all much better choices.

2. Men Are More Likely to Drive Drunk

The act of driving drunk can affect anybody, regardless of their particular demographic. Yet certain trends do exist in terms of gender and age. To begin with, men are far more likely to drive drunk than women. In fact, as recently as 2010, men were responsible for four out of five DUIs. Men between the ages of 21 and 34 are also responsible for a disproportionate amount of drunk driving violations. Although men in this age range comprise only 11 percent of the population, they are involved in 32 percent of drunk driving as stated by the Centers for Disease Control.

3. DUIs Are Very Expensive

You should never assume that the penalties for a first-time drunk driving offense are light. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that drunk driving will end up costing you a lot of money. You may be required to pay a variety of fees, like the following:

  • Bail from jail
  • Car towing and/or impound fees
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Legal fines
  • Jail, sentencing, and probation fees
  • Driver responsibility fees
  • Substance abuse education class tuition
  • Ignition interlock device installation expenses
  • License reinstatement fees
  • Alternate transportation costs
  • Insurance premium increases

The precise amount of such fees varies from state to state. According to alcohol.org, those convicted of drunk driving could spend between $10,000 and $25,000 for a first-time DUI offense by the time the entire process is complete.

Refer to our blog for more drunk driving facts and tips for staying safe on the road.

If you get arrested for DUI/DWI and need more information on ignition interlock devices and programs in your state, please contact the experts at Draeger.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop, and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in, any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.