The damage done by drunk drivers in the holiday season

The holiday season is not only one of the most joyful times of year, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. Edwardsville residents know well the risks of driving in snow and ice, and when you compound those natural hazards with the manmade perils of drunken driving, the Christmas season is one in which drivers are urged to proceed cautiously so that everyone gets home for the holidays.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that every single day, about 29 people die in U.S. motor vehicle accidents involving a drunk driver. Although those number are down from where they were three decades ago, we are still losing more than 10,000 people each year to impaired driving.

Those numbers don’t include the tens of thousands who suffer injuries in drunken driving crashes each year.

The NHTSA points out that it’s very clear why so many drunks cause so many wrecks. When a person consumes alcohol, their thinking is impaired, with their abilities to reason accurately assess risk and distance and speed diminished. Their muscle coordination is also impaired after alcohol consumption.

If you think about it, those are the very brain and muscle functions needed in the operation of a motor vehicle.

In both Illinois and Missouri, it is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. But even lower BAC levels can be dangerous, the NHTSA notes. Last year, more than 2,000 were killed in alcohol-involved car crashes in which drivers had a BAC of between 0.01 percent and 0.07 percent.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a drunk driving accident, you can speak with an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.