They are perhaps the biggest dangers on our nation's highways, roads and streets: drunk drivers. Impaired by alcohol, their judgment is poor, reflexes slow, vision blurred and their confidence is high that they can drive safely.
In New Mexico, we know that the reality of drunken driving can be grim: motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities. A new study shows that many Americans continue to get behind the wheel after they have consumed alcohol.
The study by Alcoholic.org found that 34 of Americans ages 18 to 34 admit to having driven drunk at some point in their lives, while 43 percent of people ages 35 to 51 confess to at least one instance of drunk driving. Among older drivers, 39 percent of drivers ages 52 to 69 say they have done it, while 27 percent of people 70 and older confess it as well.
Forty-five percent of men of all ages admit to having driven drunk, while 35 percent of women say the same.
Of those who admitted to driving drunk, 52 percent say they have about 1 to 4 drinks per week. Twenty-two percent say they average 5 to 8 drinks per week, while another 12 percent say their weekly alcohol intake is from 9 to 12 drinks. Just over 5 percent say they average about 13 to 16 drinks per week and another 7 percent of those who admit to having driven drunk say their weekly intake is more than 16 drinks.
Likely some of those people need help with substance abuse. They pose a menace to themselves, their loved ones and everyone else. At the very least, they need to learn to let someone else drive, be it a designated driver or a taxi or a service like Uber or Lyft.
People who are injured in car accidents caused by drunken drivers can fight back. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can pursue maximum compensation for all damages, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.