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The Costs of Drunk Driving

Posted in Drunk Driving

Drunk driving has been a problem on our roadways since the invention of the car. Over the years, however, various legal measures have been taken in an effort to stem the instances of drunk driving. These legal measures have worked to some degree, but they have not been able to completely deter people from drinking and driving.

In the 1970’s, drunk driving was responsible for more than 60% of traffic fatalities, and it was the leading cause of death among young adults aged 16-20. Today, drunk driving is responsible for approximately 40% of traffic fatalities. For young adults between the ages of 16 and 20, the fatality rate is about 36%.

The danger that drunk drivers pose to innocent people on the road should be enough of a deterrent to keep them from doing it. Sadly, this is not the case in many instances. In addition to the threat that drunk drivers pose to other people, there are also personal risks involved with drinking and driving.

On a personal level, drinking and driving causes serious physical and mental impairment. Slurred speech, disorientation, double or blurred vision, loss of coordination, and blackouts are common effects of drinking. It is purely common sense to realize that it is extremely dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol. Even if you do not immediately feel as though you are impaired, you should keep in mind that this is a common claim by intoxicated people who have just crashed their cars or been pulled over for speeding or reckless driving.

Long-term personal effects of drinking include the development of ulcers, cancer, heart disease, and cirrhosis, an incurable liver disease. Long-term drinking also kills off brain cells, resulting in a decreased flow of blood supply to the brain, and an alteration in the brain’s structures.

You should also know that chronic, long-term drinking can cause the body to develop digestive system problems. When this happens, the body has trouble digesting foods that are not alcoholic, and this can lead to malnutrition. Another personal effect of drinking is premature aging. Since alcohol deprives the body of essential B vitamins, it causes abnormalities in brain function that contribute to the aging process.

Driving is a serious task that requires great focus, concentration, and the reflexive skills to respond to unexpected obstacles on the road. A person who is under the influence of alcohol suffers from impairment of all of these vital abilities, making them a danger to themselves and everyone else they encounter while driving. Inexperienced drivers are at an even greater risk for making a mistake and causing an accident, particularly when they are under the influence of alcohol.

The bottom line is that drinking and driving do not mix. Even if you only have one or two drinks and you feel fine, the best guideline to follow is not to drive if you have had any alcohol at all. This will keep you, and other drivers, safe.