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Why is drunk driving so bad?

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense that puts many lives at risk. Someone who is intoxicated can't make the same, good decisions as someone who isn't, and that person puts others in danger when behind the wheel impaired.

The fact is that around 32 percent of fatal car crashes involve those who are intoxicated. By reducing the number of people getting drunk or high, the amount of accidents taking place would plummet.

In 2011, there were over 1.2 million people arrested for driving while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and it's a fact that around two out of three people will end up in a drunk-driving crash at some time in their lives. The public is aware that drinking or taking drugs and driving isn't safe, but it still happens.

Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down the central nervous system, causing the brain to slow its functions. For example, someone who is drunk may have a harder time speaking, slurring his or her words. The more alcohol a person has, the more they're likely to have reduced coordination and motor functions. They will be less safe behind the wheel and may suffer from impaired judgment, coordination, visual acuity, reaction times, and other impairments.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is crime, and it can lead to fines or a prison sentence. It's possible for a person to lose his license over the offense as well. If someone is hurt in an accident, then both criminal and civil charges could be placed against the driver seeking not only compensation but also criminal punishments.

Source: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, "Driving While Impaired -- Alcohol and Drugs," accessed March 24, 2016

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