drivingWhen a driver chooses to get behind the wheel after drinking, he or she is putting much at stake. Not only does a drunk driver put his or her own life at risk, but also the lives of other drivers, as well as pedestrians.

Alcohol affects the brain’s ability to function normally, making driving a particularly dangerous task for impaired individuals. Not surprisingly, the more alcohol a person consumes, the more difficult it becomes for them to operate a vehicle. Even more, the faster an individual drinks, the higher his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) will be because their body cannot eliminate the alcohol fast enough. Between legal penalties and the safety risks, drunk driving is simply not worth it.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, people drive drunk nearly 300,000 times a day, but less than 4,000 of those drunk drivers are arrested. In Maryland, the first offense for drunk driving (DUI) can mean up to 1 year in jail, as much as $1000 in fines, and a minimum of 6 months of license suspension.

In Maryland, if an individual is under 21 years old, he or she is considered legally intoxicated if their BAC is .02% or higher. For individuals 21 and over, .08% or higher constitutes a (DUI – Driving under the influence); and anything between .04% and .08% constitutes a (DWI – Driving while intoxicated).

While these numbers are in place to enforce drunk driving laws, the absolute best way to avoid accidents involving alcohol is to abstain from drinking before driving.

Here are Some Statistics:

For Maryland in 2012:

160 – Total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities

25 – Under 21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities

70.7 – Percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities involving high BAC drivers (.15%)

93 – Number of individuals under the age of 18 driving under the influence

On average, over 8000 impaired driving crashes occur annually on Maryland Roadways and 35 percent of impaired driving crashes result in injury (Maryland Department of Transportation)

Above all – Don’t Drink and Drive

All across the country, driver-safety campaigns are inspiring young people to put down their phones and to refrain from drinking – and now it’s our turn to join the mission. The attorneys at Ingerman & Horwitz are dedicated to helping spread the message about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. Help send a memorable message about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving by entering our “Just Drive, Maryland” Scholarship Contest.

Resource Links

Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

Maryland Department of Transportation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Motor Vehicle Safety Injury Prevention & Control

Driving Laws: Maryland Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties