Any alcohol consumption unsafe for California drivers, study says

Based on the findings of one study, any amount of alcohol consumption increases the risk of auto accidents, which may result in serious injuries or death.

Drunk driving accidents are all too common in California, and throughout the U.S. The California Highway Patrol reported that there were more than 1,000 fatal accidents, and more than 16,000 injury collisions, involving alcohol consumption in 2013 alone. Such crashes occur despite most people understanding the dangers of driving under the influence. This is because drunk drivers often think that they have not had too much to drive safely, or they incorrectly believe they are better drivers after having a couple of drinks. According to a recent study, however, any amount of alcohol consumption is dangerous for drivers.

HOW DOES ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AFFECT DRIVERS?

Alcohol consumption can have a range of effects on the human body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out some of the most common effects include the following:

  • Relaxation
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of small-muscle control and coordination
  • Decreased alertness
  • Released inhibitions
  • Reduced reaction time

People may begin to experience these effects after as few as two alcoholic beverages. Often, those who get behind the wheel after drinking underestimate these effects. As a result of them, however, their ability to safely operate motor vehicles may be compromised, which may result in serious auto accidents.

EXAMINING THE LINK BETWEEN ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND ACCIDENT BLAME

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego conducted a study in order to understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and accident blame. For the study, they examined the data for more than 570,000 alcohol-related collisions occurring from 1994 through 2011. The researchers studied the relationship between drivers' blood alcohol content levels, and the degree to which they were solely blamed for causing motor vehicle accidents.

ANY AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IS DANGEROUS FOR DRIVERS

The study's findings showed that consuming even minimal amounts of alcohol can pose a risk of causing auto collisions. NBC News San Diego reported that the study found drivers who had a BAC level of 0.01 percent were 46 percent more likely to cause accidents than the sober drivers they collided with. Therefore, people's risk of causing serious crashes increases as their BAC levels rise.

SEEKING LEGAL GUIDANCE

Californians who are involved in drunk driving accidents may suffer serious injuries, which require extensive medical treatment. This may lead to unexpected medical expenses and, in some cases, may impact their ability to work and provide for their families. Therefore, people who have experienced these types of situations may benefit from working with an attorney. A lawyer may advise them of their rights, and help them understand their options for pursuing financial compensation.