The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a listing of the effects of different blood alcohol concentration levels on driving skills. Based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the American Medical Association and other organizations focused on curbing drunk driving, the listing shows effects ranging from the level of .02 percent all the way to .15 percent. In Connecticut, as in all 50 states, the legal BAC limit for driving is .08 percent.
Connecticut readers might be interested to learn that, according to a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of all traffic-related fatalities in 2012 were the result of drunk driving collisions. In raw numbers, 10,322 people were killed in 2012 in such crashes. According to a 2010 study titled The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, the annual cost to Americans from alcohol-related accidents is in excess of $59 billion.
A variety of studies show how great the impact of impaired driving is on the nation's economy and on individual drivers in Connecticut and around the country. Alcohol-related crashes cost almost $59 billion annually and result in almost 30 deaths every day. Drunk driving also goes largely unnoticed and uncontrolled. While almost 1.4 million people were arrested for drunk driving in 2010, 112 million adults self-reported driving while impaired at least once that year.
Police in Connecticut say that a 41-year-old man was drunk when he fell asleep in his vehicle at a Middletown fast food establishment during the early morning hours of Oct. 11. Middlesex County police say that the man was taken into custody after officers concluded that he was under the influence of alcohol.
In Connecticut, most drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and kill themselves or others behind the wheel show no prior history of DUI arrests. Advocates from groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Connecticut say that this is only an indicator that drunk drivers get away with violating DUI laws several times before being caught or causing fatal accidents.
While the consumption of alcohol may be considered a social norm in Connecticut and across the country, accidents caused by those who chose to drink and drive are devastating to families. It is sad but true that an accident caused by an alleged drunk driver often has fatal results. Families of victims who are killed in these types of collisions are left, not only trying to cope with the enormous loss, but seeking justice on behalf of their loved ones.
It has been some time since a fatal accident claimed the life of a local firefighter in Connecticut and severely injured his two sons. While the allegedly drunk driver accused of the crime is ready to head to court for his supposed involvement, the victim's family is also pursuing civil actions against a local gas station for failing to report the driver. In any accident, the blame falls primarily on the driver believed responsible; however, this suit also looks at the blame that could fall on establishments for their lack of action.
Not all accidents caused by drunk drivers take place far from home. In fact some can occur in front of someone's home or even right on their driveway. A recent criminal case has been brought to the Connecticut court system regarding the death of a man caused by a woman who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol. What seems strange about this case is the location in which the accident took place.
The effects of driving while under the influence of alcohol can be devastating. A drunk driver can cause significant injuries to the unsuspecting victims who just happened to be on the same road at the same time. A recent crash caused by an allegedly drunk driver in Connecticut sent several people, including two children, to the hospital with unspecified injuries.
Although the use of alcohol will probably always be a part of society, the relentless effort by Connecticut authorities to keep alcohol away from driving has little effect. Daily reports about deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving accidents leaves one thinking that these efforts are in vain. One wishes that every drunk driver would pause to consider the consequences before he or she gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.