Why You Should Never Drink and Drive

Keys and alcohol on a tableDrunk 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.

Regulations

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

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.

Contact Us

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.

What You Need to Know About Drug Impaired Driving 

Drug Impaired Driving

Everyone knows the dangers of drunk driving. Drug impaired driving, however, is on the rise.

In a 2013 -2014 survey done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly one in four drivers tested positive for one or more drugs.

These drugs could have an impact on safe driving skills. 

 

 

Marijuana and Its Impact on Driving 

Marijuana is second only to alcohol as the drug most often found in a driver’s system after a car crash.  Studies show marijuana can impact driving skills in the many ways, such as: 

  • Impaired psychomotor skills 
  • Difficulty with lane tracking 
  • Impaired cognitive functions 
  • Slowed response times as well as 
  • An inability to correctly judge time and distance. 

Research has shown drivers high on marijuana have an increase in unsafe driving conduct, such as: 

  • in lane weaving  
  • altered attention as well as 
  • poor reaction times.  

Coupled with alcohol use, unsafe driving conduct increased.  While more research is needed, several studies show that drivers with THC (the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana) in their systems are almost twice as likely to be at fault for fatal crashes than drivers who hadn’t used drugs or alcohol prior to the crash. 

Other Drugs and Their Impact on Driving 

Studies show both cocaine and methamphetamine can result in aggressive and reckless driving.  Ecstasy and amphetamines have also been shown to lead to erratic driving, reduced vision, and an increase in risk taking.  Certain sedatives, called benzodiazepines, or “Benzos” in street parlance, can cause dizziness and drowsiness.  Both over the counter and prescription pain relievers can slow response times.  They also affect a driver’s ability to do more than one thing at a time.   

In a 2010 study, 47 percent of drug impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes had a prescription drug in their system.  37 percent had used marijuana.  10 percent had cocaine in their system.  The study did not distinguish between those who had a valid prescription and those who were using prescription drugs illegally.  Even if one has a valid prescription, however, this does not give them a license to drive if they are impaired while taking the drug.   

As with marijuana, combining drugs with alcohol can lead to even greater impairment. This may lead to even more unsafe driving conduct.   

Drug Impaired Driving Hurts Families 

Drug impaired driving can result in injury or death to innocent people. At O’Brien & Ford, we have seen many people suffer the consequences of someone else’s choice to use drugs and get behind the wheel.  We work hard on our clients’ behalf.  In a drug impaired driving suit, we seek to recover lost wages and the costs of medical bills.  We also pursue claims for pain and suffering as a result of drug impaired driving crashes.  Call us to schedule your free consultation at (716) 907-7777..  We are happy to meet with you at a time that works for you.  If it is easier for you, we can come to your home to meet.  We pride ourselves in excellent customer service, as well as superior legal representation.  Contact us today.