Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Drunk driving has always been a serious issue in the U.S. The National Drunk Driving Enforcement Crackdown 2013 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” will be held mid-August to Labor Day weekend this year. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2010, drunk driving was the cause of almost 33,000 deaths in America. Is it worth it? The facts are astonishing and hopefully will make anyone think twice about getting behind the wheel after too many drinks.
The legal limit to drive is at or below .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) but even at .02 your judgment can be impaired. The effect on driving ability after a certain amount of drinks varies by gender and weight. An average woman that weighs around 140 pounds would have to consume three drinks in an hour to achieve BAC of .08. A man weighing close to 170 pounds would need to consume four drinks in one hour to reach the limit of .08. Women are prone to have higher blood alcohol concentration levels after a smaller amount of drinks than men.
BAC & Effects on Driving Ability:
- .02 – Decrease in visual functions (Things seem to appear moving faster than actually are) Inability to do two tasks at once.
- .05 – Difficulty steering & inability to act efficiently in an emergency. Decline in ability to track moving objects
- .08 – Short term memory loss and concentration is impaired. Not able to process what’s going on around you (stop signs, street lights, bikers, parked cars, other moving vehicles, pedestrians)
The driving under the influence fines can be pretty hefty. General penalties for a first time offender are up to a $300 fine and you can face up to six months of probation. If you have a high BAC the fine can be from $500 to $5000, license suspension for a year, and possibly 48 hours to six months in jail. If your BAC is even higher your license is immediately suspended for a year, face anywhere from 72 hours to six months in jail, and fined from either $1000 to $5000.
The only safe blood alcohol level to drive at is .00. When consuming alcohol there are alternative ways to get where you’re going. Taxi, calling a friend or family member for a ride, or planning ahead to have a designated sober driver is the best idea when you’re out having a few drinks. A life can be saved if you chose an alternative way home!