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Drinking and Walking Can Be Fatal

Posted in Alcohol Abuse

New Year’s Day has for years been studied as a day of risk for individuals throughout the world engaging in the celebration of the passing of another year. According to a recent Medical News Today report, it is also one of the deadliest days for pedestrians.

While there is much information available about drinking and driving, there is very little information shared about drinking and walking. Trauma surgeon Dr. Thomas Esposito warns that walking while intoxicated can be just as dangerous.

According to Esposito, alcohol impairs not only your ability to drive, but also your ability to walk. Drinking impairs coordination, reflexes and the individual’s judgment.

Esposito’s cousin was the victim of a drinking and walking situation in which he opted to walk instead of drive after an evening of drinking. Another driver did not see him on the road and hit and killed him. The cousin’s body was found on the side of the road on New Year’s Day.

Over the course of the last 25 years, the incidences of drinking and walking injuries and deaths have been featured in the Injury Prevention journal. From 1986 to 2002, 58 percent of the 410 pedestrians killed on New Year’s Day had high blood alcohol concentrations.

In 2008, 38 percent of fatally injured pedestrians 16 years of age or older had blood alcohol concentrations at or above 0.08 percent. This percentage rose to 53 percent for deaths between 9PM and 6AM.

Between July 2009 and June 2010, 105 people were treated at Esposito’s Trauma Center, 55 of which had their blood alcohol levels checked and 29 percent had alcohol in their system and 24 percent had blood alcohol concentration levels at or above the 0.08 percent.