Drink Driving and Your Health: Here Are the Real Risks!

Effects of alcohol on your body
From your very first sip of alcohol, it already has an impact on your body. While a glass every once in a while can’t be a cause of your concern, the effects of regular and binge drinking can take its toll on your body. Driving drunk is also dangerous, not only to you but also to other people on the road as well. If you get caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you’ll face consequences such as fines and jail time. If ads and campaigns against drunk driving are still not enough to convince you of its dangers, we’ll give you the different legal and health risks of drunk driving.

Effects of alcohol on your body

● Anemia

Alcohol can cause the number of your oxygen-carrying red blood cells to become defective. Alcohol destroys your blood, spleen, bone marrow, and liver, which are all necessary for your blood production.

● Cancer

Alcohol can increase your risk of getting a mouth, upper throat, breast, bowel, and esophageal cancer. And if you’re a heavy drinker and a smoker, your chances are higher.

● Cardiovascular disease

If you drink too much alcohol, the level of fat in your blood will rise. It may also lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of contracting heart failure. And if you keep binge drinking, this may even lead to stroke.

● Cirrhosis

Drinking alcohol could make your liver scar over time. And if it keeps scarring, you’d possibly end up with cirrhosis, which is the final phase of the alcoholic liver disease. 

● Dementia

Alcohol makes your brain cells die faster than they should, increasing your risk of dementia. You’d experience loss of memory, find trouble communicating, and more. The mental implications of driving are also noteworthy, as impaired brain functioning could play a role in a drink driving accident.

● Depression

Alcohol alters your balance of chemicals in your brain because it’s a depressant. Negative emotions would replace your feel-good feelings. It lowers the levels of your serotonin, a factor that leads to depression.

● Seizures

Alcohol degenerates your brain. It can cause epilepsy, which can trigger seizures. And if
you’re taking medications for convulsions, alcohol will interfere with it.

● Gout

Alcohol poses a 25% increased risk of having gout, and if you’re a heavy drinker, your chances increase by 200%.

● Infectious disease

If you keep drinking alcohol, you’ll end up like a toehold for infections. As a heavy drinker, you’re more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and pneumonia.

● Nerve damage

Alcohol is toxic to your nerve tissues, and regular alcohol drinking will make you feel pain in your limbs. Your nerves that transmit signals to your brain, spinal cord and body could be damaged.

Legal Risks of Drunk Driving

Legal Risks of Drunk Driving

1. Fines and Fees

You’d end up paying enormous fines when you get caught drink driving. The estimated amount that you’d end up paying for is $13,000 - $27,000. And this can be significantly higher if you’re a repeat offender.

2. Driver’s License Suspension

Your driver’s license will be most likely suspended by DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) even if you don’t get convicted. If it’s your first time getting caught for a DUI, you will face a mandatory suspension of 180 days.

3. Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

When you get caught drink driving, you’ll most likely be required to install a device called an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your car. It’s a device that measures your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you can start driving your vehicle. You’ll be required to blow into the device before your car starts.

4. Jail Time

Most states classify drunk driving as a misdemeanor. In some countries, even on a first offense, you’d be required to serve a minimum jail sentence of a few days after you get caught. It’s punishable by up to six months of jail time if it’s your first time getting convicted of a DUI.

5. Enhanced Penalties

A. Excessive Speed

If you get caught drunk driving over the speed limit, you’ll be convicted with a DUI in addition to excessive speed.

B. Suspended or Revoked License

You’ll get an aggravated DUI charge if you get caught driving with a suspended or revoked license. Your penalties would be increased because you show disregard for the law.

C. Multiple Convictions

If you already have multiple DUI convictions, you’ll get harsher punishments to discourage you from repeating your offense.

D. Minors in the Vehicle

If you get caught drunk driving with a minor in your vehicle, you’ll get not only a DUI charge but also a child endangerment charge.

E. Extremely High Blood Concentration

If you’re caught with an extremely high BAC, your crime becomes an aggravated DUI, which can result in more significant prison time and higher fines. There are other ways to enjoy yourself without drinking alcohol. You don’t need to risk your health, pay enormous fines, and get imprisoned just because you want to have some fun for a night. One pint of pleasure is not worth endangering yourself or others. But if you really can’t help it, and you need to grab a drink or two, control your alcohol consumption. If you’re drunk, don’t put yourself behind a steering wheel, catch a cab or hitch a ride home.

AUTHOR: Sharon Golden
Sharon GoldenSharon Golden has been a law writer and businesswoman for more than 20 years, and she is currently working on his next big project. Her pieces offer knowledge on various law topics that are easily understandable to the common reader. Sharon cannot be separated from Sophia, their family dog. When Sharon has the time, she's always seen walking Sophia around the city.
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