The Dangers of Drunk Driving

by Criminal Defence Blawg on August 26, 2021

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It should be well known by now that drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death among American teens. But why is drunk driving so dangerous? And should you see a Denver auto injury attorney if you’re involved in a drunk driving accident in Colorado?

This article discusses the many effects that cause drunk driving to be dangerous. Alcohol impairs judgment, motor function, and brain function, and you shouldn’t consume any alcohol before you drive. However, the more you drink, the more risk you take.

Driving while drunk is also illegal in every state and at the very least, it can result in felony charges and lost expenses. Continue reading to learn about the dangers of drunk driving and why you should think twice before you get behind the wheel after drinking.

What Is Drunk Driving?

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks to take some of the load off after a hard day’s work or kicking back with some buds on a Friday night. However, no amount of stress relief is worth risking your life and the lives of others.

Drinking and driving is a serious offense for a good reason: people die from it all the time. Drinking and driving is sometimes called driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated. It involves operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or above.

However, even BAC levels below this can be dangerous in driving situations. Some drivers might not even exhibit intoxication while operating but that doesn’t mean it’s any less risky.

How Alcohol Affects Driving Ability

Every day, an average of 28 people die from drunk driving-related accidents. But why? So many people get injured or die in drunk driving accidents because the substance impairs brain function, thinking, reasoning, and motor functions. All these abilities are essential when operating a machine.

As a person’s BAC rises, so too do the effects of alcohol on that person, causing them to make increasingly ill-advised decisions and compromising their ability to operate a motor vehicle. People absorb alcohol through the walls of the small intestine and it passes into the bloodstream. Once it hits the bloodstream, its impairing effects start to take hold.

The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration


At 0.02 BAC, people experience minor loss of judgment and inhibition, slight body warmth, and altered mood.


At 0.04 BAC, people may start to experience unusual behavior tendencies, some loss of muscle control, impaired judgment, lowered alertness, and release of inhibitions.


Muscle coordination continues to deteriorate and balance, speech, vision, reaction, time, and hearing all experience alterations. Memory, self-control, and reasoning also change.


Reaction time and motor function are more clearly impaired, along with speech and coordination. Slowed thinking becomes evident.


A marked drop in motor function, along with potential vomiting and major loss of balance, occurs.

Risk Factors

Driving after drinking presents many risk factors, the worst of these factors, of course, being death. Because of its effects on your motor function, driving while drunk can result in serious crashes and it is illegal in every state.

Slow Reaction Time

Slow reaction time is one of the leading contributors to drunk driving accidents. It impairs how quickly you can respond to changing driving conditions, such as another car pulling out in front of you. If the vehicle in front of you breaks or a pedestrian crosses the street, it takes longer for your brain to process the information and perform an evasive maneuver.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking affects your motor function, such as your eye-hand and eye-foot coordination. Without these controls in place, you are unable to adequately handle a motor vehicle. Drinking might give you trouble walking, swaying while standing, or an inability to see straight.

Impaired Concentration

Traveling at high speeds while in a motor vehicle and avoiding accidents requires focus. Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous forms of driving and without focus, it’s difficult to understand the obstacles you need to avoid.

Decreased Vision

Excessive alcohol negatively impacts your vision and after drinking you may start to notice your vision blurring. This can easily affect how you judge distances and it can decrease the number of objects within your peripheral vision.

Impaired Judgement

You rely on your judgment to gauge situations and make informed decisions based on their potential outcomes. You may lose the ability to predict events and anticipate possible results while drinking. Doing so increases your risk of potentially serious car accidents.

Drunk Driving Statistics

  • Alcohol-related accidents account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths.
  • More than 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of either alcohol or narcotics in 2014.

Who Is At Risk

Everyone is at risk from driving under the influence. However, some populations are more likely to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking than others. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are 10x more likely to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking than drivers over the age of 21 and in 2011. Also, close to one million high school students admitted to drinking and driving.

Conclusion- What Causes Drunk Driving Accidents?

There’s little debate surrounding the causes of drunk driving accidents. Impaired judgment, decreased motor function, and reduced reaction time are problematic for operating a motor vehicle.

Additionally, younger groups are more inexperienced drivers and are not accustomed to the effects of alcohol. Combining those factors with the increased likelihood of them getting behind the wheel after drinking carries significant danger.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
Criminal Defence Blawg
Criminal Defence Blawg

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