When a person leaves a party, the neighborhood bar, or any kind of social gathering, they often don’t think about the many consequences that arise when driving under the influence. They might have had a couple of drinks, smoked some marijuana, or shared a line of cocaine with friends. Although they might have the perception that they are fine to drive, that perception itself is distorted. People often take drugs and alcohol because it alters their experience of life temporarily. Yet, this is precisely what affects one’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. For instance, someone who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol might notice that the following feels impaired:
- -motor coordination
In fact, drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or above will experience noticeable differences in their ability to steer and park. And drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 will not be able to keep track of two things at once. Furthermore, someone who has been drinking will have trouble following moving objects with their eyes, and with that, their peripheral vision will be impaired.
Because perception, coordination, and judgment are skewed when under the influence of a substance, getting behind the wheel while drunk or high could potentially lead to the following consequences:
- -a car accident
- -injuries to self or others
- -legal matters
- -financial burden
- -jail time
In fact, in 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. This number of deaths accounts for one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Furthermore, of the 1,149 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2013, 200 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Actually, statistics reveal that when a person has been drinking or using drugs, the chances of that person being in an accident drastically increases. In the United States, 40% of all youth fatalities were directly related to alcohol. Lastly, the World Health Organization reveals that 90% of all countries have national laws prohibiting the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Of course, the reason for such laws is because substance-related accidents cause great problems. When someone is high or drunk and they are in an accident, there is often property damage, lost revenue, grief, physical and psychological pain as well as the impact on families and their income.
Both alcohol and drugs can impair a person’s ability to function and make healthy choices making not only accidents but other consequences probable, such as:
- -alcohol poisoning
- -severe health consequences
Of course, alcohol and other drugs in excessive amounts can lead to medical disease and illness. And, it can also lead to psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. The risks associated with substance abuse and addiction is especially true for those who binge drink or use heavy drugs on a regular basis.
If you or someone you know is getting behind the wheel, you can save someone’s life by calling a taxi. Some bars now have a service in which you can pay them to take you home. Driving under the influence just isn’t worth it. Call a friend or a cab to take you home.
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