Public awareness of the risks associated with driving and alcohol consumption has reached a new level. High schools across the nation offer awareness programs and host speakers who share their first-hand experiences. Television and radio broadcasts provide frank representations of the risks. The internet abounds with information and testimonies of those affected by drinking and driving. Despite these advances in information, DWI is still a serious problem today.

Grim Statistics

The effects of DWI are far reaching and no one is immune to its destruction. Over the course of their lives, two out of three people will be affected by a drinking and driving incident. According to, someone is injured every two minutes, and someone will actually die every 53 minutes as a direct result of drunk driving. Driving accidents are the number one cause of death for citizens of the United States and more than half of those accidents are related to alcohol use. Though we talk about the threat of drinking and driving a lot, the threat is real.

Physiological Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Certain effects of alcohol on an individual’s driving ability, like a slowed reaction time and a more pronounced lack of judgment, are common knowledge. There are, however, other physiological effects that are less known. For example, a driver’s ability to pay attention to the myriad of details necessary for safe driving, like traffic lights and signs, other drivers, pedestrians, weather-related road conditions, and more is diminished. The ability to give attention to peripheral factors takes a back seat to the needed focus on what lies directly ahead.

Duration of Intoxication

A rule of thumb states that it takes the body one hour to metabolize one drink. This is should not be considered a guideline for drinking and driving. There is no such guideline. Furthermore, getting a ride home and “sleeping it off” before heading off to work in the morning may not be a wise choice either. After a night of heavy drinking, it is possible to head off to work in the morning with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) that is still dangerously high.

Legal Consequences and Options

The consequences for a DWI are swift and severe. They range from a $2,000.00 fine, jail time, a suspended license, or a required class for a first offense to a $10,000.00 fine, a prison sentence, a suspended license, or an ignition interlock system for a third offense. It is important to find a reputable attorney with experience in DWI, who can navigate the complex nuances of the court system, from the sobriety tests that may be administered at the time of arrest, to getting a charged individual released from jail, to negotiating penalties.

In our age of global communication, there is a vast amount of information available to any individual willing to put in a minimal amount of research time. Alcohol Alert! offers a comprehensive look at DWI and includes statistics, articles, testimonies, and more that illustrate the many pitfalls associated with drinking and driving.

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