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Motorists drive drunk despite knowing the risks, survey finds

Drunk driving

If you asked the average person what they thought about drunk driving, they would probably tell you that it's dangerous. Yet, there is still a staggering number of people who drive after consuming alcoholic beverages.

No matter how responsible a driver you may be, it's almost impossible to avoid sharing the road with them. Law enforcement officers throughout Texas amp up their efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road. Yet they can't catch every DWI offender.

Survey participants admit to driving under the influence of alcohol

The Zebra — a website that compares car insurance rates — recently conducted a survey to gain insight on the habits and attitudes pertaining to drunk driving. The survey found that about six percent of participants admitted that they feel unfit to drive after consuming more than five alcoholic beverages. That's more than enough to affect a driver's judgment, coordination, muscle control and cognitive functioning. In fact, the NHTSA points out that impairment can start at a blood alcohol concentration level of only 0.02 percent, which is well below the legal threshold. Even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of drowsy driving, especially at night.

The survey also revealed that:

  • More than a quarter of participants feel unfit to drive after consuming 3-4 alcoholic beverages.
  • Nearly 19 percent of participants admitted to driving buzzed at some point in their lives, 2 percent admitted to driving while high, and 5 percent admitted to driving buzzed and high at the same time.
  • Roughly 40 percent of participants said they would call a spouse or friend to drive them home after drinking too much and 10 percent said they would use a rideshare.

Data finds that Texas has the most drunk driving fatalities

In addition to the survey, The Zebra also pulled CDC crash data between the years 2003 and 2011. There were more than 119,000 drunk driving fatalities in the United States during that period. Texas led the nation with more than 13,000 drunk driving fatalities, just ahead of California and Florida.

While the CDC data is outdated, the problem has grown worse in recent years. Since 2016, there have been more than 1,400 traffic fatalities in Texas linked to alcohol impairment. That's nearly 40 percent of all Texas traffic fatalities for 2016, 2017, and 2018 combined.

Texas drivers have a duty to OTHERS

Alcohol-related crashes are preventable when drivers uphold their duty to others on the road. That means finding a safe alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol. Here are some safer choices:

  • Spending the night at a friend or relative's house
  • Walking home (if within walking distance)
  • Catching a cab or summoning a rideshare
  • Calling a friend or loved one for a ride
  • Designating a sober driver

Experienced car accident lawyers serving the Rio Grande Valley

Drunk driving car accident cases are often very complex. Even if the at-fault driver was arrested at the scene of the crash, certain factors can create many gray areas. For example, the at-fault driver could challenge the breath test results or deny being drunk at the time of the crash. In addition, the at-fault driver's insurance company could attempt to shift the blame onto you. This is where an in-depth investigation by an experienced attorney is needed.

Should you or a loved one be injured in a drunk driving crash, it's critical that you speak to an experienced Texas car accident attorney to learn about your legal rights. The attorneys at Karam Law Firm have decades of experience helping victims of drunk driving crashes get the justice they deserve. We know how to investigate drunk driving crashes and deal with insurance companies. We also know how to put an accurate value on your claim and fight to recover every dollar owed to you.

With law offices in McAllen and Edinburg, we serve clients across the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. We offer free consultations and will not ask for any money unless we win your case. Contact us or call us to learn more.

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