Drunk Driving and Alcohol Facts
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 22% of all road traffic accident deaths are alcohol related
- Nearly 4% of all global deaths, approx. 2.5 million people, are alcohol related, which is more than the number of deaths caused by AIDS, Tuberculosis, or violence
- A person with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.10% is 7 times more likely to get involved in a deadly car accident than a sober driver, while a person with a BAC of 0.15% is 25 times more likely
- On average, someone is killed by drunk drivers every 30 minutes in the U.S.
- Alcohol intake in the European Union is the highest in the world with an average of about 3 drinks per day, which is more than double the global average
- Depending on a person’s alcohol consumption, it is possible to wake up in the morning and still be drunk, which means it is also possible to get into an accident while driving
- Alcohol consumption combined with taking prescription drugs, aspirin, or illegal drugs can increase a person’s impairment as if they have a higher BAC
- Alcohol consumption is the 3rd leading risk element for disease and disability and the 8th leading global risk factor for death
Prevent Tragedies and Drive Responsibly
Never drink and drive! Drinking and driving can make people more aggressive, angry, tired, inattentive, or even careless, all of which can contribute to traffic accidents. Even if you are not drinking and driving, you don’t always know if other drivers have been drinking. For this reason, it is important to drive cautiously because other drunk drivers may be sharing the road with you.
- Impairs judgment
- Delays reaction time
- Hinders coordination, balance, and other motor skills
- Alters decision making
- Can cause people to do things they would not normally do sober
- Enters the bloodstream causing a person’s whole body to become impaired
- Inhibits learning and memory when drank on a regular basis
Because of these reasons, do not drink when you are or are going to be driving, making important decisions, pregnant, or are taking medication or drugs that interact with alcohol.
Drunk Driving Laws
Today, more and more countries around the world are trying to stop drunk driving through the implementation of laws, penalties, and other preventive measures. The penalties for being caught drinking and driving range from set fines and driver’s license suspensions to jail time, a few years driving probation, and a fine based on the person’s income.
Many European countries have begun to implement preventive drunk driving policies. France requires all drivers to have 2 breathalyzer kits in their vehicle at all times, which should be used to test a person’s BAC before driving at night and the next morning. Other regions, including Latin America, are also beginning to set similar laws.
The Amount of Alcohol in Each Drink
What is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?
BAC is the amount of alcohol in the blood, which is measured in percentages. For instance, a BAC of 0.10% means that a person has 1 part alcohol per 1,000 parts of blood in the body.
Starting at a BAC of 0.02%, people have an increased risk of getting into a traffic accident. The legal limit of alcohol that a person can have in their blood depends on the country that the person is in. Majority of countries have a legal BAC of 0.05% or 0.08%, but there are some countries with a no tolerance policy, meaning a person cannot have any alcohol in their blood when driving.
Note: Sex, age, physical condition, and the amount of food or dugs consumed may affect a person’s BAC.