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On 11/5/20, the Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association) named Russ Hixson, of Hixson & Brown, the Outstanding Member Award recipient for 2020.

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Dangers of drunk driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents caused by drunk driving kill more than 10,000 people in the United States every year. Iowa residents might like to know more about the problems caused by drunk driving.

Intoxicated drivers contributed to around one-third of all fatal car accidents. The data from 2017 shows that men are involved in more fatal crashes than women when driving drunk. 14 percent of women were intoxicated in these crashes while 21 percent of men were intoxicated.

Operating a vehicle after drinking alcohol is a bad idea because the substance can hinder coordination and thinking. While it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, it is important to understand that alcohol still impairs those with lower BACs. A BAC of .02 percent is relatively low but results in altered mood and some loss of judgment. When driving with a BAC of .02 percent, a person cannot see as clearly and has trouble multitasking.

As BAC rises, the ability to drive diminishes greatly. With a BAC of .10 percent, coordination worsens more significantly while it takes longer to react and think. This makes it difficult to brake and stay in the same position within a lane. At a BAC of .15 percent, loss of balance occurs. A person also has less muscle control, and focusing on the road and processing information is extremely difficult with a BAC of .15 percent.

The information from the NHTSA shows that one’s ability to operate a vehicle is hindered even when under the legal limit for alcohol consumption. Drivers who have consumed alcohol could be liable when car accidents occur. Hypothetically, one could argue that driving when exhibiting poor coordination and slowed reaction time violates the standard of care drivers owe others on the road.

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