Drunk Driving continues to be a persistent problem on America’s roads. Driving under the influence of alcohol severely impairs a driver’s abilities and reaction times, often leading to a disastrous situation. In some cases, it can even lead to fatal crashes.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Most people are aware that drunk driving is still a significant problem today. Yet, many are not aware of the shocking statistics that surround impaired driving fatalities. While drunk driving rates might have declined over the last 30 years, fatal crashes are still a major concern.
The number of drinking and driving related crashes in 2016 was 10,497 people. This represented 28% of all car accident deaths in the United States. About 17% of the auto accident related deaths of children under the age of 14 included drinking and driving.
Fast forward to the year 2018 and alcohol-impaired driving crashes are still a problem. Approximately 29 people in the U.S. alone are killed every single day from auto accidents that involved intoxication. That means that one person dies every 50 minutes from drunk drivers. In total, 10,000 people are killed yearly from drunk driving crashes.
Knowing The Local BAC Laws
The severe implications of drinking and driving have led to some pretty serious laws surrounding instances of drinking and driving. These laws are based on blood alcohol concentration (“BACs”). Previously, states set their own legal blood alcohol content limits, meaning that BAC levels varied drastically from state to state. Fortunately, 2018 has brought a standard of .08% BAC limit across all 50 states. One of the biggest problems that remain, however, is identifying what .08% looks like. Anything over this legal limit can lead to expensive fines, additional criminal charges, and a reduction in reaction time that can cause a fatal car accident.
It is important to remember that your blood alcohol concentration can be affected by much more than the amount of alcohol that you drink. It can also be affected by body size, type and time of last meal, and the speed of consumption. It is best to avoid operating a motor vehicle entirely when consuming alcohol. The risk is just too great. Instead, arrange for a designated driver ahead of time.
Arizona’s Zero-Tolerance DUI Policy
Another thing to consider is state specific regulations. In Arizona, you can also face criminal charges with a BAC under 0.08. Arizona is one of the strictest states in terms of DUI convictions. Operating a motor vehicle with a BAC below 0.08% may result in misdemeanor charges which include potential jail time, license suspension, required counseling, and the installation of a mandatory ignition interlock system on your vehicle.
If you have previous convictions or minors in the vehicle during a DUI, it is possible that you may face even more severe of criminal charges, some of which could be the filing of felony DUI charges. Registering a BAC of over 0.08% in Arizona will get you into even more legal trouble.
Drivers need to take the appropriate preventative actions to limit their intake when they plan to operate a motor vehicle. If you are in a zero-tolerance state like Arizona, it is best to avoid driving under the influence at all. Drinking even one alcoholic beverage and then operating a vehicle can get you into trouble.
Dealing With a Driving Under The Influence Charge
A DUI can present you with difficulties for the rest of your life. In an attempt to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths, you may face felony criminal charges and several thousands of dollars in fines. You may also be required to serve jail time and to forfeit your driver’s license. Additionally, having a DUI on your record can prevent you from seeking employment or from obtaining some professional licenses. You may also have to take addiction classes and install an ignition interlock system into your vehicle.
How You Can Prevent Drunk Driving Deaths
It is not enough to simply avoid drinking and driving. If you are aware of a friend or family member that is under the influence, it is your responsibility to encourage them to find alternate transportation. Additionally, if you are entertaining and serve alcohol, it is your duty to ensure that everyone is sober enough to drive home.
Safety should be a priority over convenience when considering transportation. Never get into the car with a drinking driver. There are too many excuses that can lead to a traffic fatality. Drivers may claim that they are no longer drunk or that they are experienced in drinking and driving. Unfortunately, it only takes one time of drunk driving for fatal mistake. Imagine the emotional and financial implications you may face if you are the cause of a drunk driving death.
The Aftermath of a Drunk Driving Charge
Drinking and driving can be a big mistake. Arizona has a strict zero-tolerance policy, which means if you drive while impaired, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
A DUI in Arizona can significantly impact you financially and legally. If you now realize the consequences of your mistake and are facing serious legal charges, you still have options. Call one of our lawyers at West, Longenbaugh, and Zickerman at (520)214-8673 today to discuss the details of your case.