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7 Surprising Facts About DUI

los angeles dui lawyerDrinking and driving isn’t a situation you want to play around with.  The consequences are serious, and they can mean months, or even years, of penalties and problems if you’re caught.  Many people understand that a six-pack is far too much to drink before getting behind the wheel, but not all DUI facts are quite as obvious.  In fact, DUI attorneys often find themselves explaining the differences between fact and fiction with some myths that have become popular among drivers.

Here are seven facts about DUIs that may surprise you:

  1. You Don’t Have to Be Driving to Be Charged.

If you’ve had a few too many to drink, it may seem like the best option to sit in your car and sleep until sobriety befalls you.  Be mindful that this decision can cause serious implications if an officer rolls up on your vehicle.  Just because you’re not actively engaged in the driver’s seat, it doesn’t mean you’re not susceptible to charges.  Simply being behind the wheel with other circumstantial evidence of driving may be enough to charge you with a DUI.  Find somewhere else indoors to sleep off your drinks besides your car.

  1. Drunk Driving Kills Approximately 30 People Each Day.

That’s a hard statistic to swallow, but it’s completely true according to the CDC.  By statistics, this amounts to approximately one death every 53 minutes.  In 2014, 19% of children ages 0 to 14 who were killed by traffic accidents died as a result of an alcohol-impaired driver.

  1. Young Drivers are Most at Risk.

A number of factors could be attributable to this statistic, but around 1/3 of the total number of fatal drunk-driving crashes in 2013 involved drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 years of age.

  1. It Only Takes a Couple Drinks to Become Impaired.

Many people think two or three glasses of wine won’t hurt over dinner, but it doesn’t take much for a person to become legally intoxicated to the point they could incur a DUI if they choose to drive.  Blood alcohol content (BAC) is determined by a number of factors, including gender and size, but generally speaking, it only takes an average of two or three drinks for a person to become impaired.

  1. Your Liver Needs at Least an Hour to Process Each Drink.

A healthy liver can handle approximately one unit of alcohol per hour, which means one 12oz beer, one glass of wine, or one 1.5oz shot.  Each item you consume adds at least one hour before your body is able to cleanse itself of the alcohol and allow your blood to become sober again.  For example, if you have three pints and a shot in a single hour, it will take your body at least four hours to catch up and process the alcohol properly.

  1. All 50 States Have Zero-Tolerance Policies against Underage Drinking and Driving.

Although DUI laws vary from state to state, each state in the U.S. employs a zero-tolerance policy against drinking and driving for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21.  While most states use a standard of 0.08% BAC for of-the-age drivers, drivers under 21 may face serious penalties if their BAC is over 0.02% in many states.

  1. Drunk Drivers Don’t Always Use Their Seatbelts.

Perhaps this goes along with the lack of inhibitions, but a startling statistic arises in that approximately 75% of drunk drivers who were involved in fatal accidents weren’t wearing their seatbelts.  Driving without wearing a seatbelt can cause life-altering or life-ending effects.

Finally, it’s important to note that DUI doesn’t always mean alcohol was a factor. Drugged driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk. In fact, did you know that in 2017, drugged driving has surpassed drunk driving in traffic fatalities? According to The Recovery Village Columbus, prescription or illegal drugs were a factor in 43% of fatal car crashes in 2015, compared to 37% where alcohol was a factor, as indicated in a report compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

Before you’re faced with a DUI, it’s important to take every precaution possible to avoid getting behind the wheel.  Wait it out at a friend’s house, summon an Uber, or hail a cab.  If you’ve already found yourself in a DUI case, contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible.  He or she will be able to help you understand your options and assist you in navigating the judicial process.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, contact Jon Artz to discuss your case in confidence.

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