Here’s a scary statistic: Alcohol is involved in 40% of fatal car accidents – let that sink in. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never safe and never right. That said, we can’t control what others on the road have chosen to do before getting behind the wheel. This guide will dive into a few topics including staying safe in a world where drunk drivers could be driving right beside you, important to know statistics, and steps to take if a loved one has been hurt by someone driving under the influence.
Here is how can you stay safe while sharing the road with potentially drunk drivers:
- First, it is important to note most DUI accidents happen between 9 PM and 6 AM, which means you should be extremely cautious on the road between these hours. Trying to avoid driving late at night, especially on weekends, could potentially save your life.
- Seat belts do indeed save lives. Seat belts significantly reduce the chances of an accident becoming fatal.
- While the rule of staying 3 seconds away from cars in front of you is a great way to stay safe on the road, at night you should consider increasing this to 4 seconds away from all vehicles in front or behind you. This will not only allow you to maneuver your vehicle if a drunk driver suddenly takes unpredictable action on the road, but also will protect you from potential obstacles on the road that are more difficult to see in the dark.
- Try not to drive alongside other vehicles for long periods of time. Slowing down your vehicle will reduce the chance of a vehicle next to you swerving and causing an accident.
- Take your time as you drive through intersections as someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs may not be yielding properly for other cars at intersections.
- 69% of fatal accidents at night involve a driver with a BAC of .10 or more. This is higher than the .08 legal limit.
- Thanksgiving is the holiday with highest drunk driving activity. In fact, Thanksgiving Eve is also known as Black Wednesday as it is the busiest day of the year for bars.
- Only 21% of fatal crashes between 9 PM and 6 AM involve drivers with no alcohol in their systems.
- In Virginia, if you are under 21 and have a BAC of .02% or higher, you can be charged with a form of a DUI.
- Virginia operates under implied consent, which means if you are accepting a Virginia drivers license, you have automatically consented to a breathalyzer test if arrested. You are still within your rights to refuse a roadside sobriety test, but if arrested, your right to refuse a breathalyzer test is subverted. Note that if you refuse a roadside sobriety test, you will likely be arrested.
- Using mouthwash prior to driving under the influence can actually increase the measurable alcohol level in your mouth.
- The most deaths due to DUIs occur amongst 21 – 34 year olds in Virginia.
- In American, someone dies from a DUI-related car accident every 48 minutes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI-related accident, call us at (571) 229 – 1800 or contact us here.
Part 2 of our DUI Guide can be found here.