Statistical records on road tragedies in the US show that more than 5 million car accidents occur every year. More than half this number is accounted to permanent injuries either to the person who actually caused the accident or to an innocent victim. There are various reasons why auto accidents occur and though some lie beyond the direct control of a driver, such as road defect or car part defect, the main reason is still driver’s fault or error.
Drunk driving tops the list of driver fault as cause of an accident; speeding is the second reason, while the third is reckless driving. This is despite all the warnings, the educational programs and public awareness, the visibility of traffic enforcers and the penalties which have been made stiffer over the years.
People who choose to drive after drinking simply put innocents’ lives on the line, and the more a person drinks the likelihood of getting into an accident, more so, a fatal one, also increases. This is because any amount of alcohol will definitely affect or impair a person’s motor and mental skills. Impairment due to alcohol, by the way, is never based on the type of alcoholic beverage drank, but on the amount of alcohol consumed over a particular time period.
Based on the usual way of measuring blood alcohol content (BAC) or blood ethanol concentration (the basis for measurement is a 160 lb. male whose liver is functioning normally) in a normal person, two to three bottles of beer consumed within an hour would register about 0.04% alcohol content in the blood. This means that after consuming four to five bottles of beer within an hour, a person would register a BAC reading of about 0.08%, the limit in all jurisdictions in the U.S. Anyone caught driving with a 0.08% or higher BAC reading can be charged with drinking under the influence (DUI), drinking while intoxicated (DWI), operating while impaired (OWI), or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) – in some states, DUI, DWI, OWI and OVI are used interchangeably, while in other states, DWI refers to intoxication due to alcohol, while DUI refers to being under the influence either of alcohol or prohibited drugs.
Though people may have different levels of tolerance to alcohol, so that habitual drinkers may remain more sober than social drinkers after ingesting the same amount of alcohol, those who will be caught ought to bear in mind that BAC is based on the amount of alcohol in the blood; it does not measure sobriety and physical alertness. This means that even if a person is quite okay physically and mentally even after consuming a six-pack, the fact that he or she has more than 0.08% BAC, he will still be charged with DUI, DWI, OWI, OVI, since his being intoxicated is a potential reason for a serious car accident that will compromise the safety and lives of unsuspecting road users.
Springdale DUI lawyers explain that, “A DWI/DUI can be deemed a felony-level crime for many reasons, especially, in South Carolina. If anyone is seriously injured due to the accident, it is almost automatically considered a felony. Any child passenger involved in a drunk driving accident also greatly increases the likelihood of being charged with a felony DUI. Furthermore, a third DUI offense is automatically deemed a felony-level crime. A felony elevates the range of punishments for a crime, so establishing a strong defense to preserve your freedom becomes all the more important.”
The courts already do not take DUI cases lightly. Drunk driving cases, especially those involving children are subject to additional fines and jail time, and these additional penalties are mandatory if convicted for the original offense. Even if you are not convicted of the DUI, a mandatory 60-day license suspension might be imposed. In some states, a child is said to be anyone who is under the age of 16. An experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to help you reduce or completely avoid additional DUI penalties.