Social drinking is part of life for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption can be problematic for several reasons, not the least of which including addiction and dependence, leading to a need for outpatient rehab. It’s important to realize the inherent dangers of drinking before it becomes a problem.
The government sets limits on blood alcohol content for driving in order to curb accidents and promote public safety, but it can be nigh on impossible to self-assess one’s own BAC in the moment; it’s much better, easier, and safer to simply abstain from drinking if you know you’re going to have to drive.
Unfortunately, thousands of people ignore this wisdom daily, choosing instead to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, risking lives in the process. DUI arrests are trending downward, overall, thanks to ride-sharing services and a general increase in public awareness, but that doesn’t mean that the problem is going away.
If anything, stricter proposed penalties for driving under the influence in a number of states remind us of the dangers at hand, not to mention the risks posed to your life and the lives of those around you.
Alcohol impairs judgment, shutting down the many behavioral fail-safes within our brains which govern the way we speak, behave, and interact with others. This makes honest self-assessment all but impossible; those little fail-safes that stop you from acting out of line while sober are the same ones that oversee decision-making, logic, and spatial awareness. Unfortunately, this means that the ability to accurately gauge one’s own capabilities and intoxication goes out the window as well.
Most people who drive drunk do so under the assumption that driving safely is fully within their ability. The fact of the matter is that intoxicated people are the worst possible judges of their own sobriety; therefore, thirty-one percent of fatal drunk driving crashes occur on weekend nights when social drinking is most likely to occur, compared to just sixteen percent during the week.
It’s simple: the more alcohol you consume before getting behind the wheel, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.
When we consume alcohol, it is quickly carried throughout the body via the bloodstream. As a depressant drug, it slows down the activity of our central nervous systems, which includes brain function and our ability to make sound, logical decisions. This is why driving under the influence is considered such a serious crime in the United States—the potential for loss of life, for injury, and for property damage perpetrated by intoxicated drivers is greatly increased the more alcohol the driver has had to drink.
Drunk driving is everyone’s problem, and the risks extend far beyond just the well-being of the driver in question. In 2014, nearly twenty percent of children ages 0-14 who were killed in traffic accidents died as a result of an alcohol-impaired driver; over half of these were riding in the vehicle with the intoxicated person at the time of the accident.
Next time you know someone who is considering getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking, remember that they’re not only a risk to yourself but a risk to the innocent bystanders you may encounter while on the road.
While impaired from alcohol consumption, it’s impossible to accurately gauge one’s own faculties. It affects our judgment of ourselves, our surroundings, and the people we are with, limiting our ability to make rational decisions in our own best interest.
This explains why so many people drive drunk; a rational person would realize that a ticket for leaving their car parked somewhere overnight or the cost of a cab ride are small prices to pay compared to a loss of legal standing and the thousands of dollars associated with DUI processing.
In addition, alcohol consumption negatively impacts almost every single motor skill necessary to safely operate a vehicle, especially at night. Reaction times are dramatically slowed, as well as depth perception and the ability to read and process information.
All of this can, and often does, lead to disaster; in 2009, there were over ten thousand traffic fatalities in car crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. The legal and financial ramifications of a DUI are punishing, but they don’t come close to the pain and suffering caused by the loss of human life. If you or anyone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction contact RECO Intensive at (855) 799-1035 today.
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