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Driving on alcohol

drunk driving

Driving on alcohol

Drunk driving is a big risk and drivers with high blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) are at highly increased risk of car accidents, highway injuries and car deaths. Don't drink and drive and don't ride with anyone who is drunk because usually themselves and their passengers who are injured by drunk drivers. The risk of car accident for high BAC drivers is dramatically higher than for a sober driver.

Every single death or injury caused by drunk driving is fully preventable. Although the proportion of collisions that are alcohol-related has dropped dramatically in recent decades, there are still far too many such preventable accidents. Still, drunk driving is a serious national problem that tragically effects many victims annually.

Most drivers who have had something to drink have low blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) and few are involved in fatal car accidents. On the other hand, while only a few drivers have BACs higher than .15, a much higher proportion of those drivers have fatal collisions. Combinations involving alcohol and another psychotropic substance are particularly dangerous. Mixing alcohol with drugs is the most dangerous.

Estemates of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) say that the average BAC among fatally injured drinking drivers is .16 and the relative risk of death for drivers in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385 times that of a sober driver and for male drivers the risk is 707 times that of a zero-BAC driver. High BAC drivers tend to be male, aged 25-35, and have a history of DWI convictions and polydrug abuse.

You can do much to protect yourself. If you do not feel drunk after drinking, this may be a sign that you have developed tolerance to alcohol. Maybe because you drink regularly you will be able to drink larger quantities before feeling or appearing drunk.

Here are some tips to help you stay under legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level

  • use standard drinks to monitor your drinking
  • get to know how many you can have to be under 0.05
  • eat before you drink - food in the stomach causes alcohol to be absorbed more slowly
  • drink slowly, keep track of how much you have drunk, and don't top up drinks (its more difficult to track what you have had)
  • choose alcohol-free or low-alcohol drinks and have alcohol-free spacers between drinks
  • If you think you may drink too much to drive, plan ahead
  • choose a designated driver
  • take a taxi, bus or train
  • share a ride with others
  • take bus


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