Beebe and O'Neil

Study: Drunk drivers almost four times as likely to crash

It should come as no surprise that people who drive drunk in New London are putting themselves and others at risk. But just how high is that risk? A recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that people who have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent are almost four times as likely as sober drivers to get into a motor vehicle accident.

The study took place over the course of 20 months. Researchers evaluated more than 3,000 drivers who were involved in car accidents as well as more than 6,000 drivers who had not crashed. They studied not only the effects of alcohol, but also the impact that narcotics have on drivers.

Key findings from the study include the following: 

  •        Drivers who used marijuana were 25 percent more likely to get into a wreck when compared to those who did not use the drug.
  •        People who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent were 12 times more likely than sober drivers to wreck.
  •        Even drivers with a legal blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent were more than twice as likely to get into an accident.

The NHTSA notes that the study is the most controlled of its kind and gives insight into just how dangerous it can be for people to ingest intoxicants before getting behind the wheel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that from 2003 to 2012, 1,039 people in Connecticut died as the result of an accident with a drunk driver. The state does have laws, sobriety checkpoints and penalties such as jail time and license suspension in place to deter drunk driving.

Unfortunately, these incidents continue to occur. Hopefully, spreading awareness regarding just how dangerous drinking and driving is will encourage people to think twice before engaging in the behavior.


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