What Is Drunk Driving
Drunk driving can be better understood by
examining the blood alcohol content of a driver,
also called a BAC. BAC is measured based on
grams of alcohol per 100 mL of blood. If a driver
has a BAC of .01, it means that there is .01 g of
alcohol per 100 mL of blood in the body.
Note : Although “drunk driving” is a catchphrase thrown
around by law enforcement and public service ads on TV,
it’s a sobering thought to consider that drunk driving is
actually a crime. Operating a vehicle with an excess
amount of alcohol in your blood is a violation of both state
and federal law
It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC over
Of course, this takes for granted the fact that a
driver is of legal drinking age. For drivers under
the age of 21, it is a zero-tolerance policy.
Other countries around the world have
conservative BAC limits for drivers:
0.02 China, Sweden, Poland
0.03 chile, japan, belarus
0.05 austria, denmark, belgium
0.00 Bangladesh, brazil
0.00 Hungary, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
Blood alcohol level depends on
how many drinks and body weight
One in three people will be involved in an alcoholrelated accident in their lifetime.
The average drunk driver will drive impaired 80 times
before an arrest.
1 person died every 53 minutes in a drunk driving
In 2012 10,322 people were killed.
Approximately 345,000 were injured.
Before you even think about taking the risk of
driving impaired after a night of fun, consider
the penalties that could await you after a DUI
A suspected DUI driver will be pulled over for a
traffic stop and given a field sobriety test. If the
test is failed, a driver may be given a breathalyzer;
if their blood alcohol content exceeds the legal
limit, they will be placed under arrest for DUI.
Once arrested, the driver will be taken to a local jail or police
station for booking. Details of the crime will be recorded, and a
mug shot and fingerprints will be documented. All personal
property will be confiscated at this time.
Depending upon the state and severity of the offense, bail may be
posted or a driver may be released to a sober party once they have
been given a court date. In some situations, a driver may have to
wait in jail for a hearing from a judge to determine their bail
In court, if a driver is convicted of a DUI offense, they will
have to pay court costs and a fine and face the suspension of
their driver’s license. Many states now require mandatory jail
time, even for first-time DUI arrests. A driver charged with a
DUI is also likely to be placed on probation and will have to
perform community service
Most convicted drivers will have to go through some
type of driver’s education in order to earn their license
Finally, a convicted DUI offender will have to take alcohol
awareness and treatment classes and attend a support
group or counseling before they are deemed
penalties that a driver can expect after an arrest.
Mandatory driver’s license suspension
Drunk driver’s education classes
Attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or counseling
Once a first-time offender has a subsequent DUI arrest,
penalties become even stricter for second, third, and fourthtime offenders. Penalties for a repeat offender may include:
Breathalyzer required at home
Random breathalyzer and urine tests from probation officers
Driver’s license revocation
How Long Will It Take for a DUI to
Go Off Your Record?
Most state DUI laws will require that a DUI offense stays on
your driving record for a set amount of time.
you can expect a DUI to stay on your driving record for a
minimum of 10 years. In states like Tennessee, a DUI offense
will remain on your driving record for life
Fatalities Are No Joke
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization provides countless stories
of lives that were cut short or damaged irreparably because of a drunk
Take the story of Brian Wood who was driving with his wife; she was
seven months pregnant with their first child. As Brian saw a car driven by
a drunk driver veer toward them in their lane, he turned his vehicle right
so that the driver’s side would shield the crash from his wife and unborn
child. As a result, Brian was killed in the crash, and his wife and unborn
In a similar story, 21-year-old Elaina Luquis-Ortiz was on the side of the
road helping a friend with a flat tire. As they were waiting for a tow truck
to arrive, a drunk driver with a BAC over three times the legal limit hit
them. Elaina was six months pregnant with her first child at the time; both
died at the scene of the accident
After hearing these tragic stories, you may be
asking yourself a familiar question. Why on
earth would anyone get behind the wheel
impaired when it could cost someone else
Unfortunately, very few drivers realize how
drastically alcohol can affect them behind the
wheel. Alcohol is a depressant that slows
down central nervous system activity,
including brain response.
BAC & DRIVING IMPAIRMENT
Tracking and steering
Concentrated attention, speed control
Divided attention, choice
reaction time, visual
Information processsing, judgement
Eye movement control, standing
steadiness, emergency responses
How to Prevent Drunk Driving
Perhaps one of the most familiar organizations that crusades against drunk driving is
MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving since 1980. MADD is a nationally recognized
nonprofit organization that was started by a mother of a 13-year-old girl who was
killed by a drunk driver.
MADD began as a grassroots organization and has since transformed into a
widespread campaign to eliminate drunk driving by:
Supporting law enforcement heroes that catch drunk drivers.
Requiring in-car breathalyzers for all drunk drivers to prove sobriety before getting
on the road.
Supporting the development of new technology to improve roadside sobriety tests.
How likely are teenagers to drink and
A: Since there is a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the
age of 21, teenagers are not permitted by law to drive with
alcohol in their system. Nonetheless, 2010 statistics confirm
of 16 and 17-year-old drivers drove under the influence.
of 18 to 20-year-old drivers drove under the influence.
Among male drivers ages 15 to 20 who were involved in fatal
crashes in 2010, 25% of drivers were under the influence of