Drinking and driving is dangerous and can be costly

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Drinking and driving is dangerous and can be costly

  • June 28, 2019
  • By Admin: lbsnyl5_wp
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Most states lower their drunk driving standard

Now that all but a handful of states have lowered the level of alcohol that a driver can have in his or her system and still legally drive, it is important for motorists to understand just what the new standards mean.

In response to federal requirements, 45 of the 50 states have changed to the new, stricter level, which safety experts say will save lives by reducing the number of alcohol-related fatal accidents.

Law enforcement officers deter- mine whether a person is too drunk to drive by administering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. BAC can be measured using a blood sample, urine sample or by measuring the alcohol in a person’s breath using a Breathalyzer machine.

The BAC standard adopted by 45 states is .08. Previously; states used a

range of BAC standards, with .10 being one of the most common. The motivation for standardizing the BAC at .08 came from the federal government, which told states their share of federal highway funds would be reduced if they did not conform. Some states have even lower BAC standards for underage drivers and repeat offenders.

According to the National Commission Against Drunk Driving,

only Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey and West Virginia had not conformed with the .08 BAC standard by the Oct. 1, 2003, federally established deadline.

Experts estimate that a 120-pound woman reaches the .08 limit after two drinks in an hour on an empty stomach. A 180-pound male reaches .08 after only three drinks. In this comparison, one drink is equal to1.25 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 12 ounces of regular beer or 5 ounces of wine.

It is important for drivers to fully understand the consequences of drunk driving. Driving while impaired is illegal, unsafe and can hit a person hard in the pocketbook. Common penalties and costs associated with a drunk or impaired driving ticket and conviction can be substantial.

The total cost of an impaired driving arrest can vary greatly from state to state and includes more than just a fine. It can also include:

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□             Attorney fees

□             Towing

□             Court costs

□             Bonding fees

□             Insurance rate increases

Drinking any amount of alcohol before driving is unsafe.

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If you plan to drink while out, there are several things you can do to help arrive home safely:

□             Designate a non-drinking driver ahead of time.

□             Take a cab or public transportation.

□             Sip your drinks, consume food and alternate with non-alcoholic beverages.

□             Ask your server about a ride home if you have been drinking to the point of impairment.

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