Drunk driving in South Carolina puts others at risk

Drinking alcohol can have a range of effects on the body, which may adversely impact drivers and cause them to be involved in serious car accidents.

It is common for people throughout South Carolina to consume beer, wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages. Drinking such beverages is not typically a problem for those who are of legal drinking age. However, it can pose serious risks to drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others who share the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 44 percent of the traffic-related deaths that occurred in South Carolina in 2013 involved drunk drivers.

What effects does alcohol have on the body?

Even in small amounts, alcohol can have a range of effects on the body. These effects vary based on a number of factors, including the amount of alcohol a person has consumed, as well as his or her size and weight. Typically, the more a person drinks, the more severe the effects he or she will experience become.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol may cause impaired judgment, exaggerated behaviors and decreased alertness. In addition, people may experience reduced muscle coordination and control, as well as a loss of balance due to alcohol consumption. Slowed reaction times and difficulties detecting danger are also common effects of drinking alcoholic beverages.

How do the effects of alcohol impact drivers?

Much of the danger that drunk driving poses is due to the impact that alcohol's effects have on the body. According to the CDC, some of the most common effects that alcohol can have on drivers include the following:

  • Decreased ability to multi task
  • Reduced visual functions
  • Diminished coordination
  • Difficulties steering and controlling speed
  • Impaired perception

Furthermore, reductions in concentration, short-term memory and information processing capabilities may also occur. These effects can impact a driver's ability to safely maneuver his or her vehicle, as well as respond to emergency situations while driving.

Who is at risk?

In general, any driver who gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol poses a risk to themselves, and others on the road. However, certain groups may have a more significant risk of being involved in an alcohol-related accident. The CDC reports that drivers between the ages of 21 and 24-years-old are more likely to be involved in fatal alcohol-related collisions. The likelihood of getting into a fatal drunk driving accident is also increased for motorcyclists, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 44-years-old.

Seeking legal guidance

When alcohol-impaired drivers cause motor vehicle accidents in South Carolina, and elsewhere, the results can be shattering for those involved. People who are injured in such collisions often require medical treatment, as well as time away from work for recovery. This can lead to undue expenses and lost wages for which the drunk driver may be held liable. Those who have experienced situations such as this may benefit from consulting with a legal professional. Working with an attorney may help them to understand their options for pursuing legal compensation.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury