As the holidays approach, many of those in the Tallahassee area will be attending social gatherings and parties to celebrate the season and bring in the New Year. A recent article on excessive alcohol consumption, which appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat, highlighted some important reasons to rethink drinking too much alcohol at these holiday festivities.
The article in the Tallahassee Democrat highlights the serious risks involved in excessive drinking, especially during the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It also points out that, in 2011, there were 33,625 DUI convictions within the state, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
While the total number of drivers who drove while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol cannot be known for sure, that number is certainly much higher than the conviction number. (Nationally, only about 1 percent of impaired drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.) And the risk that these intoxicated drivers pose to other drivers and passengers can be significant.
Driving Hazards Created By Impaired And Drunk Drivers
In Florida, the legal limit for intoxication is .08 percent BAC for drivers over 21 years old. For drivers under 21 years old, Florida has a zero tolerance law. However, drivers with a BAC level below .08 can still show signs of intoxication and driving impairment.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers tend to experience some of the following symptoms at these blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels:
At .02 percent driver experiences:
- some loss of judgment;
- altered mood;
- decline in visual functioning (ability to rapidly track a moving object or target); and
- decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divide attention).
At .05 % driver experiences:
- impaired judgment;
- lowered alertness;
- reduced coordination;
- reduced ability to track moving objects;
- difficulty steering;
- reduced response to emergency driving situations.
At .08 % Driver experiences:
- reduced muscle control (over balance, vision, reaction time, hearing, speech);
- difficulty detecting danger;
- impaired judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory;
- difficulty with concentration;
- short-term memory loss;
- reduced ability to process information; and
- impaired perception.
At .10 % Driver experiences:
- poor coordination;
- slowed thinking;
- significantly reduced reaction time and control; and
- reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately.
At .15 % Driver experiences:
- significantly less muscle control than normal;
- major loss of balance;
- substantial inability to control vehicle;
- substantially reduced ability to pay attention to task of driving; and
- substantially reduced vision and auditory information processing.
Tallahassee Lawyers For Victims Of Alcohol-Related Car Crashes
Unfortunately, despite awareness campaigns, alcohol impairment while driving remains a significant problem in the United States. In fact, every day almost 30 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This equates to approximately one death every 51 minutes. It also means that nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the country are caused by an alcohol-impaired driver.
The lawyers at Fasig & Brooks sincerely hope that you have a safe and joyous holiday season. However, if you need the help of an experienced Tallahassee area lawyer for injuries you or your family member have suffered injuries in a Florida automobile accident, please let us assist you with obtaining a full and fair financial recovery for your losses by calling us at (850) 222-3232 or use our online contact form.