5 Risks Associated With Drunk Driving In Houston
Many people drink and drive every day while remaining oblivious to the risks it exposes them to. If you get through it safely and reach your destination, does it mean that drunk driving is a great choice?
The answer is a resounding no!
You place the lives of anyone else using the road at the same time as you are at risk, in addition to your own, when you decide to drive home while drunk.
When operating a vehicle, your coordination, judgment, vision, concentration and reaction time all have an important role to play; each one of these is substantially affected by alcohol. When driving, the effect of alcohol on these senses exposes you and other road users to unnecessary risks.
To hopefully discourage anyone who has been taking alcohol from driving, we are going to take a closer look at the reasons why drunk driving is so risky in this article.
1. Impaired Judgment
Taking alcohol negatively affects your judgment as you might have heard before. It is easy for you to make poor decisions, that you are likely to regret once you sober up when your judgment is impaired.
When you are under the influence of alcohol, you may choose to drive home even though you are feeling drunk and know that you should not be driving or are past the legal limit for drinking for instance. However, you still end up driving even when you know that it is not the safest or smartest choice, simply because you can feel your bed beckoning and you think that home is just a stone’s throw away or are not willing to wait for a ride home or pay for one.
You are also more likely to get distracted when at the wheel if your judgment is impaired because of alcohol. Instead of paying attention to the road, you may try to watch something on your phone or even text.
When operating a vehicle, you need to focus your attention on so many things that it is simply not worth it for you to expose yourself to the risk of losing your concentration due to the consumption of a little alcohol. You are required to observe traffic signs, remain in your lane, give the necessary amount of room to other road users, drive at the right speed and pay attention to other drivers. Since the consumption of alcohol significantly reduces your attention span, it increases your chances of getting into an accident.
When it comes to driving, your judgment has a huge role to play. To make a turn without hitting anything, or stop your vehicle in time, you need to correctly judge the distance required. Furthermore, you need to anticipate and respond to any eventualities while driving such as steering clear of any objects lying on the road, erratic weather changes and even being cut off by other drivers. You can only be aware of and remain alert to the driving conditions by having a sober head. This ability may be impaired by alcohol.
2. Poor Coordination & Reduced Responsiveness
In some circumstances, having alcohol in your bloodstream reduces the speed at which your body responds. Since you cannot react to situations as fast as you would if you didn’t have alcohol in your system your chances of getting into an accident increase. Your inability to make swift decisions, brake or steer away means that you might end up ramming into the back of cars that cut you off or stop suddenly.
Most importantly, if pedestrians or animals were to run into the road it is unlikely that you will react in time. It takes more time for an alcohol ridden brain to analyze the situation and come up with a response. To make things worse, you are more likely to be distracted when driving under the influence of alcohol.
Your motor skills, including the coordination between your feet, hands, and eyes, will also be affected by alcohol in addition to slowing your reflexes. You put yourself and other road users in harm’s way by driving when these skills are impaired, considering the fact that they are essential when it comes to the proper operation of a vehicle.
If you have a problem with walking, standing upright or unable to stand, it is safe to conclude that your coordination is significantly impaired. Getting into your vehicle and inserting the ignition keys in the ignition may also be an issue. You should definitely avoid driving your vehicle if your coordination has been affected by this point.
3. Poor Vision
Drinking excessively can negatively affect your vision, and when driving being able to properly see the road in front of you is essential. Your eyes may move involuntarily or your vision may become blurry when you drink alcohol. In some cases, your eye movement may be difficult to control. You may not be able to properly gauge the distance between your car and others on the road as a result of this poor vision.
Peripheral vision is essential when driving; you might also lose it when drunk. Your vision increasingly suffers the more you drink alcohol. You should avoid driving at all costs if you find that your vision is cloudy or blurry or you start experiencing any sort of problem-related to your eyes.
4. The Chances Of Getting Into An Accident Increase Exponentially
Even with the serious drunk driving penalties, and increased public awareness and education on the risks of driving while under the influence of alcohol, cases of people operating their vehicles when intoxicated is still being reported. Drunk drivers endanger the lives of all road users, including sober drivers, even though the number of cases of drunk driving has decreased in general.
The leading cause of death in young people below 24 years of age in the United States is motor vehicles – this includes both passengers and drivers. In close to half of these accidents, alcohol consumption is a factor.
This simply means that even though sober road users may be tangled up in the car wreck of an intoxicated driver, chances are that a drunk driver is likely to cause an accident than a sober one. It is also evident from the data your chances of getting into an accident increase as the level of alcohol in your body also increases.
5. Possible Legal Consequences Of Drunk Driving
Drunk drivers also expose themselves to serious legal consequences in addition to the danger of causing physical harm or even death to themselves or other road users.
You will be requested to perform sobriety tests on the field if you are stopped by an officer of the law on suspicion of driving under the influence. You may be required to take a breathalyzer test, or any other BAC test if you fail the initial field sobriety tests – which assess your judgment and motor skills. You will be slapped with DWI or DUI charges after being sent to a local precinct for an overnight stay in jail if you fail this test.
All drivers found to be in violation of the law will be apprehended and charged according to the now stricter penalties for such violations. Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated, what is the difference?
If you are found driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the relevant charge is a DUI. If your Blood Alcohol Content is beyond the legal limit in addition to failing a field sobriety test, after being stopped upon suspicion that you are driving while impaired, law enforcement officers can charge you with a DUI. In addition to being placed under probation and being required to enroll in an alcohol abuse program, your license will be suspended for a year if you are found guilty of your first DUI charge.
Depending on the state in question, drivers charged with numerous DUI offenses will be tried to the full extent of the law. If the accident you cause while drunk results in injuries or deaths, the sentence involved become much worse.
If law enforcement officers suspect that you are driving while drunk, they will charge you with a DWI. A field sobriety test and breathalyzer test is administered just like in the case of a DUI. A DWI usually comes with higher penalties even though the process and treatment of findings are more or less the same. Mandatory enrollment into alcohol recovery programs, loss of driving privileges for an extended duration and jail time are all possible outcomes of a DWI charge.
Drunk driving may also lead to stiff financial consequences in addition to the above described legal repercussions. Lawyer fees, legal fines, towing and storage fees are among the costs drunk drivers may have to cover after being arrested. Furthermore, your insurance fees may rise exponentially as a result of the DUI or DWI conviction, on top of being required to cover the cost of DUI driver training out of pocket.
You may have trouble renting a car after these convictions and will be required to include information about your DWI or DUI charge on employment applications if requested. Due to your conviction relating to the consumption of alcohol you might be denied entry into some nations.