Impaired driving is a leading cause of serious and fatal car accidents throughout Pennsylvania and across the United States.
In 2018, 10,511 people throughout the U.S. and 334 in Pennsylvania were killed in crashes caused by drunk driving alone. This doesn't include the number of people killed in crashes by drivers who were under the influence of recreational or prescription drugs.
Buzzed driving is still impaired driving
Like most states, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or greater in Pennsylvania. Some drivers may also be pulled over by police and arrested if they are noticeably impaired at a BAC below 0.08 percent.
Drivers don't have to have a BAC of 0.08 percent to be impaired, according to the NHTSA.
At a BAC of only 0.02 percent, drivers may experience some decline in judgment, visual function and attention.
By the time drivers reach a BAC of 0.05 percent, they may experience impaired judgment, loss of muscle control, delayed reaction time, decreased alertness and decreased coordination.
At illegal BAC levels of 0.08 percent or higher, drivers may experience more pronounced signs of impairment, including complete loss of control, slowed thinking and reaction time, and even the potential for blackouts while driving.
Drugged driving, a form of impaired driving often not talked about
Impairment can be caused by a number of recreational drugs, prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medications.
According to the NHTSA, marijuana and other downer drugs can have a similar effect as alcohol. Uppers, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, can make drivers more aggressive and more likely to behave recklessly.
In addition, there are many prescription and over-the-counter medications that cause drowsiness and other side effects that can impact someone's ability to drive.
When drivers have a combination of drugs, alcohol and prescription medications in their system, impairment can be amplified.
Why do some people drive drunk despite the risks?
In many cases, drivers who use drugs or alcohol don't recognize that they are too impaired to drive. They feel over-confident in their ability to drive impaired and don't think they'll ever get caught or cause someone else's injury or death.
These drivers may never recognize the irresponsibility of impaired driving. That is until they find themselves in a jail cell, or worse, causing a devastating crash that injures or kills someone.
Were you injured or did you lose a loved one in a crash with an impaired driver? The Pittsburgh car accident attorneys at Romanow Law Group would be glad to help you in the pursuit of justice.
Our legal team is dedicated to holding negligent drivers accountable and helping clients recover economic and non-economic damages. This includes current and future medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and loss of life enjoyment.
Contact us to get started on your claim. We offer free and confidential consultations.