Driving Drunk in Berkeley Hurts Everyone
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley car accident lawyer. Every year, people face accident injuries and wrongful deaths of loved ones due to drunk drivers. Between the years of 2003 and 2012, 10,327 Californians died in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of all accident fatalities are due to impaired drivers.
How State Laws Protect the Public
All 50 states have laws in place to protect the public from drunk driving accidents. In all states, including California, it is considered drunk driving if a driver has a BAC level that measures 0.08 percent or higher. There is zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 21. That means that if the driver shows any alcohol level whatsoever in their system, they will be charged with drunk driving. Considering 1.8 percent of Californians admit to getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after they have had too much to drink, strict laws to prevent drunk driving are a good idea.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility points to the decline in accident injuries and fatalities due to education, enforcement and the commitment by organizations to make our roads safer. However, in 2015 statistics, drunk driving was still the leading cause of fatal crashes, followed by speeding, drugged driving and distracted and drowsy driving.
How Driving While Intoxicated Impairs the Ability to Drive
Driving while under the influence of alcohol affects the body adversely in many ways and affects the way a driver is able to respond to a situation, according to the Alcohol Rehab Guide.
- Reaction time slows: Slowed reaction time means it takes a drunk driver longer to react to a situation, such as applying the brakes in an emergency.
- Concentration is reduced: Your undivided attention is required when driving to see what other drivers are doing, to control the speed of your vehicle and to watch for cars that are signaling, turning or avoiding hazards in the road.
- Vision decreases: Vision can become blurred or the driver may lose the ability to control eye movements with alcohol consumption. Peripheral vision may also be reduced and the ability to judge the distance between other vehicles lost.
- Coordination is reduced: Coordination, the ability to coordinate foot, hand and eye movements, becomes lessened. This is demonstrated by the inability to walk a straight line in field sobriety tests.
- Judgment becomes inhibited: The ability to make clear decisions is important when driving.
An accident caused by a drunk driver can cause serious injuries or fatalities. Traumatic injuries may include brain injury or spinal cord injuries. An individual who has been injured may recover fair compensation for those injuries with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Those who have lost a loved one may recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Berkeley Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley car accident lawyer. When you or your loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, please call me at (510) 631-0200 for my friendly and free advice. If you are not in Berkeley or the surrounding area, call (800) 404-5400 on my toll-free line.
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