37907510 - car driving on freeway at sunset, motion blurAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 37 individuals every day, or one every 39 minutes, lose their lives in drunk driving accidents in the United States. In 2021, 13,384 more individuals died in traffic accidents than in 2020 as a result of drunk driving. All of these fatalities were avoidable.

You’re not okay to drive

You may think that you’re okay to drive after a few drinks, but the fact is alcohol impairs your judgement affecting your thinking and reasoning skills as well as your muscle control and reaction time. Here is a breakdown of how drinking impairs your driving ability with data provided from the NHTSA.

  • Blood alcohol level of .02: You start to relax and lose some judgment. Your mood is altered. There is a decrease in your visual function and the ability to perform simultaneous tasks.
  • Blood alcohol level of .05: After you reach a blood alcohol level of .05, you start to lose muscle control, have difficulty focusing your eyes, and have decreased alertness, making it difficult for you to react quickly to emergency driving situations
  • Blood alcohol level of .08: You have poor muscle coordination and have difficulty with balance, speech, and vision. You lose the ability to think clearly or to detect danger.
  • Blood alcohol level of .10: You have little control over muscles, deteriorated reaction time, slurred speech, and slow thinking. You’re unable to stay in your lane or apply your brakes when needed.
  • Blood alcohol level of .15: You experience diminished muscle control, vomiting, and loss of balance. You are not thinking clearly and have lost the ability to control a vehicle while driving.

Consequences of drunk driving

If you think you are too drunk to drive, you probably are. If you’ve been drinking at all, it’s best not to get behind the wheel. Call a cab, ride home with a friend, or if you must, walk (although that could still be dangerous).

If you are above the legal blood alcohol limit, you could receive a citation and/or go to jail. If you’ve had multiple DUIs, you could lose your license, not to mention the possibility that you may now have to pay an increased premium for auto insurance. Worst of all, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk when you drink and drive. The legal blood alcohol level varies by state, but in many states, .08 is the legal limit for receiving a DUI.

Remember, drinking and driving is not okay at any time. If you do drink, don’t get behind the wheel. Here’s to your good health and fortune and remember to stay safe on the road!