Over the summer, families, and friends gather to spend their vacation. Some people, to make these occasions exciting, bring alcohol. Despite knowing the risks of drinking, some individuals still choose to drive. Because of this they, along with their passengers, end up getting into an accident or getting killed.
One of the institutions of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), notes that summer is the time where more road accidents happen because of driving under the influence. The more alcohol someone drinks, the more it negatively affects the nervous system.
Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that 29 people die every day in the US because of drunk driving, and 10,000 per year. A driver is not allowed to use their vehicle when their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level is above 0.08 percent. However, there were also drunk driving accidents where it involved those who have a BAC lower than the legal limit. Therefore, states are called to repeal their alcohol-impaired driving laws by lowering the legal BAC limit from 0.08 to 0.05 percent.
Even minimal amounts of alcohol could impair the senses. Someone with a BAC of 0.02 percent causes a decline in visual functions and affects a person’s ability to multitask. As the BAC increases, the risk of an accident increases. When someone reaches a BAC of 0.08 percent, speed control and perception becomes poor.
Aside from injuring or killing people, drunk driving could lead to jail time and revocation of the driver’s license. It is also expensive because authorities charge first-time offenders as much as $10,000 and the perpetrators would also spend for legal fees.
Because of the noted rise in casualties, organizations such as the NIAAA and NHTSA advocate against drunk driving because of the harm it causes to people and property. They emphasize having fun during the summer break while staying safe. The NHTSA administers the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) enacted under the Obama administration. MAP-21 gears towards avoiding road accidents by imposing stricter laws.
Meanwhile, the NIAAA set up an alcohol calculator on their website. It computes the intensity of a drink and also how much liquor could cause one’s BAC to exceed the legal limit.