Drinking and driving has become a taboo in American culture. Although a high percentage of people who drink and then drive would not consider themselves as driving impaired, the typical person, regardless of gender, age or weight is physically and mentally affected by alcohol.
Drinking and driving laws have become more restrictive as the dangers of drinking and driving have become more obvious. One of the ways state legislation has kept track of this is by following up and recording impaired driving charges for offenders on court documents. As repeat offenders return to court or jail, and it becomes obvious that no one can prevent drinking by the offender, laws have become tougher on a case by case basis.
In each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. Responsible drinking and utilizing a designated driver, cab or even a personal breathalyzer could make the difference between a safe arrival home or a tragic accident.
Unfortunately, the problem does not lie entirely with drinkers of legal age. Consequences of drinking and driving are being seen in teenage drinking and driving statistics. In 2007 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported nearly half of teenagers drank alcohol in the previous month. And nearly 50% of those teenage drinkers were drinking quantities of 5 or more servings of alcohol. A large amount of alcohol can affect an average adult, when you take into account the underdeveloped body size and mental capacity of a teenager and combine that with drinking, the results can be deadly.
While educating teenagers about drinking and driving is a top priority, it’s vitally important to inform adults as well. Although the statistics are shocking, the reality of drunk driving penalties and the specific laws for each state often make drivers more aware and conscious of how to be responsible when drinking.