Drunk driving has been a serious issue around the world as it has been the direct cause of fatal car accidents. Driving can be dangerous as it is without any impairment, so driving after drinking will clearly be an even bigger risk.
In fact, car accidents caused by drunk drivers have killed thousands of people annually. With the injury and mortality rates being so high, police officers and citizens have been even more vigilant than ever to spot drunk drivers and find ways to stop them.
Most people of legal drinking age know that they cannot legally drive when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .08%. However, as little as one drink can cause impairments including slow reactions, sleepiness, distractions, and difficulty steering or braking. Your age, weight, and recent food intake will all affect your reaction and tolerance levels to alcohol. For example, it’ll take a lot more alcohol for a heavier person to feel the same impairments alcohol can cause a thin person.
For most people, only one drink will likely make their BAC at .01% and cause it to continually increase drink after drink. “One drink” also has multiple meanings, however: one drink means one glass of beer/wine or one shot of liquor. Therefore, when you order a cocktail prepared by a bartender, there will likely be more than one shot. In that case, even if you are technically having “one drink,” you have to consider that not all drinks are created equally.
Nevertheless, you can still be pulled over and in violation of drunk driving laws even when you’re under the .08% mark. If your driving falls substantially below what is reasonably expected of you after having even one drink, you can still be fined and charged. Even when you think you know your alcohol levels and what you can handle, you may not realize how impaired your diving can be due to intoxication.
Repercussions to driving under the influence are severe. Not only do you risk injuring yourself and others on the road, but a “drinking while intoxicated” (DWI) violation will stay on your record, cost you fines, make you go to court, have your license suspended, and possibly serve jail time. In New York, you can also receive an aggravated DWI or increased penalties under certain circumstances such as having a BAC over .18%, being a repeat offender, having illicit drugs on you, or if a minor was in the car.
There is never a good excuse to drive after drinking, and you can always find a better and safer alternative. When you go out to a bar, restaurant, or party, you’ll be able to steer clear of any drunk driving repercussions by:
- Having a designated driver that won’t be drinking to take you home;
- Calling a taxi, friend, or family member to pick you up;
- Limiting yourself to one drink only; or
- Simply not drinking at all. When you know you’re going to drive, drinking is never worth it.
If you were involved in a car accident involving a drunk driver, you may be able to recover compensation. We offer free initial consultations to discuss what happened and see if we can help. Call us today: (716) 907-7777.