It would be fair to say that we, as a society, have become desensitized to drunk driving accidents. They happen all the time, and it’s no longer shocking when they occur. It is merely an expected (and unfortunate) incident that leads many people to suffer great pain or lose their lives. This desensitization is rooted in the aforementioned fact that such accidents happen all the time — but also the acceptance that people will keep making such reckless decisions.
That last part is important, because the very thought of getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after having a few drinks should leave anyone feeling outraged. Now a new study is taking that line of thinking and challenging us to up our standards even higher. It shouldn’t be that just because you have a few too many and drive that you’re act is negligent — it should be that if you have any alcohol at all and drive that your act is negligent.
Some researchers looked over hundreds of thousands of motor vehicle accidents from 1994 to 2011 and found that a driver who was intoxicated (even if they were under the legal limit) was far more likely to cause a crash than a sober driver. In fact, the study found that a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.01 is 46 percent more likely to be solely at fault for a wreck than a sober driver.
Ultimately, drunk driving is just a stupid choice that someone makes, but that can have serious consequences for innocent and unsuspecting people. A person’s reckless decision can be held accountable in civil court with a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit.
Source: Reuters, “Buzzed drivers under legal limit still risk car accidents,” Jan. 22, 2014