The Dangers of Drunk Driving

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The Dangers of Drinking and Driving in Texas

One drink can be the difference between a safe and happy night out, and an absolute tragedy. In Texas, drunk driving accounts for thousands of death each year; in 2008, 1,463 people were killed in accidents where at least one driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01% or higher. Though the legal limit is .08%, it's clear that even a tiny amount of alcohol in a driver’s system can severely impair their driving abilities. Texas driving safety starts with making responsible decisions before you even get behind the wheel of your car.

Some Facts and Figures

Drunk driving has been an issue throughout the country for years. In 2005, there were 3,504 traffic fatalities, of which 45% were caused by drivers under the influence. Though the numbers have decreased over the years, the prevalence of alcohol-related accidents, injuries and fatalities is high enough to surmise that people still don't understand the effects of having just one drink before hitting the roads.

Depending upon your body type, alcohol will metabolize differently within your system. For some, it takes more drinks to make them actually feel as if they have been affected by the alcohol, whereas others will feel the effects after one drink. But regardless of whether you actually begin to notice impairment after one drink or not, the fact remains that any level of blood alcohol content above .01% will affect your motor skills, reactions times, and judgment.

A sober driver who comes into contact with a sudden obstruction in the road will be better able to make a fast judgment and swerve appropriately; a driver under the influence who takes even a split second longer to assess and react to the situation runs the risk of killing themselves or any others involved. Similarly, an impaired driver may see things slightly askew, even without realizing it, and poses a threat to oncoming traffic by being liable to cross lines in the road.

Harsh Penalties

Lawmakers and citizens take Texas driving safety very seriously; this is reflected in the laws and consequences associated with drunk driving. Texas has zero tolerance for inebriated driving, and upholds the national limit of .08% BAC. For a first offense, the driver would receive a minimum jail sentence of no less than 3-180 days depending upon the severity of the situation, along with fines up to $2,000 (and even more if a child under 15 was in the car). Your license will also be suspended no less than 90 days to a year. and all of this comes from the very first time you make that choice to drink and drive. Second and third offenses can result in up to 2 years’ jail time and license suspension, and up to $4,000 in fines.

Though most drivers can use common sense to understand the severity of breaking these laws, it sometimes helps to learn the intricacies of Texas regulations and have reinforcement of these driving safety measures. Enrolling in a Texas defensive driving course is one step drivers can take toward refreshing their skills and preparing themselves for other less responsible drivers on the road. Though you CAN control your own actions, you often CAN’T control what other drivers do. By taking a Texas defensive driving course and learning better reaction techniques and hazard prevention tools, you’ll be better able to keep yourself and other drivers safe when you encounter someone who has taken to the roads with alcohol in their system. Your first line of defense is always yourself!

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