Drunk driving continues to present dangers to commuters and pedestrians in California. While many understand drunk driving remains a pervasive problem, they might not understand how deadly it is. Sadly, many motorists feel ambivalent about the dangers, and their decisions to drive while intoxicated costs scores of people their lives each year.
The deadly dangers of drunk driving
Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals an average of 28 people lose their lives each day in drunk driving collisions. That number means more than 10,000 die in drunk driving crashes annually, despite public awareness campaigns and strict laws punishing DUI behaviors.
Some might feel they are “okay” to drive, but the impairments alcohol or drugs cause make safe driving virtually impossible. Reaction time dulls, perceptions become limited, and concentration wanders when someone drinks before driving. And no, a person’s blood alcohol concentration need not be above legal limits for someone to be unable to drive.
Per the law, a person becomes legally drunk when his or her blood alcohol concentration reaches .08. That does not mean the person is able to drive below that level, as any amount of alcohol could lead to a drunk driving accident.
Drunk driving leads to civil consequences
Someone who drinks and drives could cause a fatal accident, resulting in criminal charges. Besides vehicular manslaughter, the driver may face a civil suit, as in many motor vehicle accidents. The fact that the driver was legally drunk could make defending a lawsuit challenging.
A drunk driving accident need not cause fatalities for the driver to face a civil suit. Inflicting bodily injury or property damage may be more than enough for a civil action. An insurance policy may cover the losses up to the policy limits, although suing above the policy could be possible as well.