The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

So, you’re at a bar with a few friends for a good time. You know you’ve had three drinks. Or has it been five? You’ve lost count. As the bartender says it’s last call for drinks, you decide to have one more. A small beer isn’t going to hurt anyone, right? The bar closes up, and you head home. Your friends get into a cab and offer you a ride, but you can still walk, you’re not slurring words.So you decide to drive. While you may arrive at home without incident, the truth is you just put your life and the lives of everyone else on the road at risk.

Liquor and car keys

Drunk Driving Facts

The facts about drinking alcohol and driving are staggering. For example, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths in 2014. That is 31 percent of overall driving fatalities.1 Here are a few more facts to consider:

  • According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.1 percent reported that they drank in the past year.2
  • In 2015, nearly 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.3
  • In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.4
  • Approximately 111 million people were in alcohol-impaired driving episodes in the United States.5

Is Having Two Drinks and Driving Really a Big Deal?

It can be. The number of drinks you consume doesn’t matter when you take into consideration the amount of alcohol and duration of time that took place between drinks. Three low-gravity beers may equal one 5-ounce glass of red wine, but if those two beers were consumed back to back, and the glass of wine over an hour, there is a big difference in how your body processes the alcohol content. In addition,your body weight, metabolism, and what you’ve eaten also play a role on the influence of alcohol.Impairment can happen much sooner than you realize.

Even a 0.02 BAC level can prove fatal, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.6 While you may not feel drunk, your body still hasn’t processed all the alcohol in your system.If you get behind the wheel, your risk of fatality increases.

Get Help Today

Driving under the influence is a serious matter. Please talk to someone and mention that you participate in impaired driving. You might think that an accident won’t happen to you, but every time you drink and drive you put your life—and the lives of others—at risk. Dangerous driving behaviors can also be an indication of alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

If you notice a pattern in your or someone else’s drinking behaviors, please call The Oaks at La Paloma today. Our specialists know what you are going through and specialize in alcohol-related problems. We can help find a treatment plan that’s the right for you.


1Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Accessed April 2, 2018.

2Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables.” Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, Accessed April 2, 2018.

3Impaired Driving: Get The Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed April 2, 2018.

4Alcohol-Impaired Driving.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Accessed April 2, 2018.

5Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults — United States, 2012.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 7, 2015.

6Epidemiology and Consequences of Drinking and Driving.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Accessed April 2, 2018.