Alcohol impairment is one of the most common causes of car accidents, many of which result in serious injuries or death. In fact, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, someone is killed every 53 minutes in the U.S. because of a drunk driver. Impaired driving is an offense that law enforcement takes seriously. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, part of an effort initiated through the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The NCADD provides information and resources to the public and others in an effort to educate and reduce alcohol related problems.
Impact of Alcohol Abuse
There are many negative impacts caused by the use or abuse of alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 80,000 deaths each year in the United States are related to the abuse of alcohol. Alcohol abuse is one of the top causes of death in the U.S. One in three Americans will know someone who has been affected by alcohol abuse, or will have been impacted themselves. Many people who abuse alcohol do not realize that they have a problem. People need to be made aware of the signs of alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
There are many symptoms of alcohol abuse, but there are four that are considered the most serious. These include craving alcohol, loss of control while under the influence of alcohol, physical dependence on alcohol, and tolerance to alcohol. Those who become addicted feel the need to drink every day, and their use of alcohol becomes more prevalent over time. Statistics show that people who start drinking in their teens are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who start drinking at age 21.
Unfortunately, the number of alcohol-related crashes has not been significantly decreasing, even with stricter laws and punishments in place. Those who drive drunk could lose their driving privileges and may face jail sentencing. Impaired driving is the cause of many serious accidents because these drivers are unable to adequately control their vehicles on the road. California has many penalties in place for those who are guilty of drunk driving.
Ignition Interlock Systems
Ignition interlock systems are designed to ensure that drivers do not operate their vehicles after having any alcoholic beverage. California has implemented ignition interlocks be required for all repeat offenders starting in 2019. Drivers may be able to utilize an interlock system rather than losing their driver’s license for a period of one year.
There are currently more than 18,000 interlock devices installed in California driver’s vehicles. The use of an interlock system has been shown to reduce the number of crashes and DUI related traffic deaths. In California, the legal drinking limit is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration). It is estimated that during a ten-year period, interlock devices stopped potential drunk drivers from taking the wheel almost 200,000 times.
Alcohol-related accidents cause serious harm to others. If you or a loved one were injured by an impaired driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your expenses and damages. Contact the experienced lawyers at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea to discuss your case today.