Facts About Drunk Driving

by Terry Bryant

Basic Facts About Drunk Driving

  • Intoxication behind the wheel is responsible for nearly 1/3 of all fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S.
  • Alcohol related road incidents are twice as common on weekends than week days.
  • Alcohol stays in the body for 6 hours, even with a blood alcohol level of only .08.  Water dilutes alcohol, so organs such as the brain, which are rich in water, feel its affects much more acutely than others.

Surprising Facts on Drunk Driving

Most people avoid hard liquor when they want to stay out of jail coming home from the bar.  However, this does very little good to reduce the number of accidents because the most common beverage responsible for both fatal car wrecks and arrests is beer. People love to drink beer more than anything else when they go on binges, and teenagers typically prefer it as the beverage of choice when they party.

Even minor amounts of alcohol, such as a body alcohol content (BAC) of only .02, can alter one’s response time on the road.  At .05 BAC, which is still under the legal limit in some states, a person’s likelihood of being in an accident dramatically rises.  At .08, a person is 11 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

While 1.4 million people went to jail in 1997 for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, approximately 99 percent more than the number arrested, reported being under the influence and not getting caught.

Little known Facts on Drunk Driving

Most people arrested for being under the influence have a BAC of .15 or more.  This means they are at least twice as much over the legal limit.

While almost every American has heard about Mothers against Drunk Drivers, few have learned why the founder of the group, Candice Lightner, left the organization. While committed to reducing the number of people who drive while drunk, Ms. Lightner did not approve of the organization’s increasing advocacy of abstinence from alcohol as opposed to simply taking a stand against getting behind the wheel after having consumed it.