Drinking While Driving Increases Your Risk of Being in an Accident _GM LASTMA


Drinking While Driving Increases Your Risk of Being in an Accident _GM LASTMA

The General Manager Lagos State Traffic Management Agency LASTMA,Mr. Bolaji Oreagba had warned the drivers not to drink while driving,most especially during the festive period.
He made this declaration to the newsmen at the headquarters of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency LASTMA, Oshodi,area of Lagos State Southwest Nigeria.
“Perhaps the biggest reason to not drink and drive is that doing so significantly increases your risk of being in an accident, and therefore your risk of causing injury to yourself or to another person”
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Man with wine glass handing over car keys.
Plenty of people know that drinking and driving don’t mix but, unfortunately, many still do it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol impaired driver each day.
What is drinking and driving?
States differ in what they call it. Some use terms like driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, drunk driving or impaired driving. All states except Utah consider a baseline blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% a crime. For those under age 21, zero-tolerance laws criminalize driving with very small amounts of alcohol. States may also have enhanced penalties in place for those who drive with very high BACs, minors in the vehicle or multiple convictions.
The consequences of drinking and driving
When you drink and drive, you’re compromising cognitive ability and responsiveness, which increases your risk for an accident.
Get caught, and a single drinking and driving infraction may have legal, financial, personal and even professional ramifications.
Most states suspend your license for varying lengths of time — sometimes up to a year. Multiple convictions typically equal a revocation of a license.
Drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) might have their licenses suspended for a longer period.
The employers of drivers with a CDL could also be liable for the actions of the driver.
The driver’s future employment might also be impacted.
Some states require mandatory jail time — even for a first offense — as well as fees and fines.
You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car; if it detects alcohol, it will prevent you from operating the vehicle.
A single drunk driving conviction may lead to job loss or restrictions (i.e., operating company vehicles).
Higher insurance rates almost always accompany drunk driving convictions.
If you sustained injuries in an auto accident as a result of your drunk driving, depending on the laws of your state, your insurance company may deny payment for treatment of your injuries

How can you detect drunk drivers?
Law enforcement officials say there are several signs associated with drinking and driving. Keeping these signs in mind may help to avoid a dangerous situation:
Making wide turns;
Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the centre line;

Almost striking an object or vehicle;
Driving on the wrong side of the road;
Driving at a very slow speed;
Stopping without cause;
Braking erratically;

Responding slowly to traffic signals;
Turning abruptly or illegally; or
Driving after dark with headlights off.
How can you stop drinking and driving?
Always make good decisions and plan. Here are some solutions to avoid drunk driving:
Always choose a non-drinking designated driver — every time you go out.
If you go out alone, do not drink alcohol. Order a non-alcoholic beverage such as a soft drink or water.

Never feel pressured to drink alcohol. If you do plan on drinking, do so responsibly.
Eat plenty of food and drink water.
If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi or car-sharing service for a ride like Uber or Lyft.
Never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.

If you can safely do so, protect others by taking their keys if they attempt to drive after consuming alcohol.
They may be mad at you, but the alternative is much worse.

Be careful on the road. Pull over and report drivers you suspect to be under the influence by calling 9-1-1. Learn more about drinking and driving laws in your state.
Drinking And Driving (DUI)
Drinking alcohol lowers inhibitions and can cause some to make dangerous decisions such as driving under the influence.
What Is Drinking And Driving (DUI)?
Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle – car, truck, motorcycle or any other motorized vehicle – after consuming alcohol is a serious crime.

Drink and driving is sometimes called driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), and involves operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of at least 0.08%. However, even a small amount of alcohol can lead to harmful situations.
Some drivers may not even show warning signs of being under the influence, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. It’s important to remember that any form of drinking and driving is illegal and can come with strict punishment.

The largest group at risk for drinking and driving are those who binge drink or are struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
This means they consume a large amount of alcohol in a short period, putting them at risk for harmful side effects.
It takes roughly 30 minutes to two hours for alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream.

During this time, your breathing may slow down and your cognitive skills may be delayed. Because of this, it is always dangerous to drink and drive.
Alcoholism is a condition that can be treated with the help of a specialized treatment centre. If you or someone you love is struggling with a drinking problem, it’s time to seek help and get your life back on track. Call a treatment provider to find rehab facilities nearby.
Dangers Of Drinking And Driving
Any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can impact your driving ability.
The effects of alcohol abuse vary greatly, putting you at risk of causing an accident or highway injury.
Safe driving requires the ability to concentrate, make good judgements and quickly react to situations.
However, alcohol affects these skills, putting yourself and others in danger.
Here are several ways alcohol impairs your driving skills:
Slow Reaction Time
When alcohol is in your system, it affects how quickly you’re able to respond to different situations.
Drinking slows your response time, which can increase the likelihood of an accident.
Therefore, if the car in front of you breaks suddenly or a pedestrian crosses the street, it will take longer for your brain to process the situation and prevent an accident.
Lack Of Coordination
Heavy drinking affects your motor skills such as eye, hand and foot coordination.
Without crucial coordination skills, you may be unable to avoid an impending harmful situation.
Some telltale signs of reduced coordination include trouble walking, swaying and inability to stand straight. Too much alcohol can even make it difficult to get in your car and find its ignition.
Reduce Concentration
Alcohol, no matter how much or how little, can influence your concentration. With driving, many things require your undivided concentration such as staying in your lane, your speed, other cars on the road and traffic signals. Your attention span is dramatically reduced with drinking, which significantly increases the chance of an accident.
Decrease Vision
Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact your vision.
After drinking, you may notice that your vision is blurred or that you’re unable to control your eye movement. Impaired vision can affect how you judge the distance between your car and other vehicles on the road. Additionally, fewer objects may be visible within your peripheral vision, or what you can see to either side of you when looking straight ahead.
Inhibit Judgment
Your brain controls how you judge certain circumstances. When operating a motorized vehicle, your judgement skills play an important role in how you make decisions.
For instance, you need to be able to foresee potential problems and make clear decisions if another vehicle cuts you off. Your judgement helps you stay alert and aware of surrounding conditions while driving.
Drunk Driving Statistics
In the United States, roughly 28 people die every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. In 2014, nearly 10,000 Americans were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Alcohol-related accidents accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths. More than 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2014.
How Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels Affect Driving
A blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% is considered legally impaired. However, alcohol can start to affect many of your senses after only one drink. No matter the circumstances, you should never drink and drive. It’s not worth the risk of putting yourself and others in danger.
Here’s an example of how your BAC level affects your driving:
BAC of 0.02
Lack of judgment, increased relaxation, slightly increased body temperature, mood swings, decreased visual functionality, inability to multi-task
BAC of 0.05
Increased lack of judgment, exaggerated behaviour, lack of coordination, reduced ability to detect moving objects, lack of alertness, lack of inhibitions, decreased small-muscle control, reduced response rate
BAC of 0.08
Reduced muscle coordination, lack of judgment, lack of reasoning, lack of self-control, loss of short-term memory, reduced ability to concentrate, lack of speed control, reduced ability to process information
BAC of 0.10
Poor coordination, slowed reaction times, reduced ability to control the vehicle, reduced ability to keep the vehicle within a lane and brake at appropriate times, slurred speech
BAC of 0.15
Extreme loss of balance, nearly zero muscle control, vomiting, impaired visual and auditory information processing, significantly reduced attention to driving tasks
Additionally, fatal crashes involving a 0.08% BAC level or higher are charged as alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.
Even though the alcohol-impaired driving fatality rate has been reportedly decreasing, motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol cost the United States roughly $44 billion each year.
The economic costs of these crashes include:
Lost productivity
Workplace losses
Legal expenses
Medical costs
Emergency medical services
Insurance administration
Property damage
Who Is Most At Risk?
Alcohol consumption can put anyone at risk of causing an accident or other serious injury. However, some populations are more likely to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking.
Drivers who are between the ages of 16 and 20 years old are 10 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, than drivers over the age of 21. While the number of underage drinking and driving cases has significantly decreased, many communities are pushing out new initiatives to keep adolescents safe. In 2011 alone, close to one million high school teens admitted to drinking and driving.
The second highest alcohol-related crash risk includes individuals between the ages of 21 to 24. In recent years, 21 to 24-year-olds had the highest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher – 32%. Many of these cases involved binge drinking, a form of consuming too much alcohol in a short period.
This often affects college students and young professionals who attend parties and other social events that have easy access to alcohol.
Drinking And Driving Laws
Federal regulation constitutes a DWI as driving with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher. A motor vehicle may include a car, truck, bicycle, golf cart, snowmobile and jet skis. Each state has its laws surrounding DWI convictions such as the fines involved, jail time and possibly revoked or suspended license. Depending on the legal charges, some states may also require community service time or alcoholism treatment.
Many states have enacted various laws to reduce the dangers of drinking and driving.
For instance, zero tolerance laws are aimed at adolescents who get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol. Drinking under the age of 21 is illegal in the United States and comes with strict punishment. If you are charged with underage drinking and operating a motor vehicle, you could face severe legal penalties.
A DWI or DUI conviction can impact your life in several ways.
The consequences of drinking and driving can hurt your family and relationships, cost you employment opportunities, cause financial difficulties, high insurance rates and possible time in jail.
Don’t Let Alcoholism Destroy Your Life
Learn about the risk factors of alcoholism and the different forms of treatment available.
For more information about alcohol treatment, speak with a treatment provider today.
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