December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month, a time to encourage people to celebrate safely, and raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Currently, U.S. drivers have a one-in-three chance of being in an alcohol-impaired collision at some point in their lives.

When a person consumes alcohol, his or her body absorbs the alcohol through their stomach wall and small intestine.  The alcohol then passes into the bloodstream, where it accumulates until the liver can metabolize it.  The weight of alcohol in a certain volume of blood is called a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC.  A person’s BAC can be measured by a blood test or with a breathalyzer, which is a device that analyzes the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath.

It is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 (grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood) or higher, because it is at this point when a person’s “crash risk” increases exponentially.  Alcohol reduces a person’s brain functioning by impairing their thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination – all of which are essential to operating a vehicle.  The more a person drinks, the higher their blood alcohol levels rise, and the greater their central nervous system is impaired.  On average, one-third of all U.S. traffic fatalities each year involve drunk drivers with a BAC or 0.08 of higher (Source: NHTSA).

Drunk driving is a dangerous crime affecting not only the driver, but also their passengers as well as all other motorists on the road at that time.  Those charged with DUI face charges ranging from misdemeanors and felony offenses, as well as penalties such as license revocation and jail time.  If you know someone who has been injured in a collision involving a drunk driver, or if you need help with a personal injury claim, give Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group a call today at (404) 436-1529.

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