DUI: It’s not just the law – it’s your life

Laws aren’t put into place to disrupt your daily life; they’re enacted to protect you. Just like helmet and seat belt laws, limits on drinking before you get behind the wheel have one goal: Your safety as a driver.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,210 people diedin drunk driving accidents in Indiana between 2003 and 2012. Some of those people were simply walking, biking or driving on the same road as an impaired driver. Others were, themselves, the intoxicated individuals.

Additional consequences of drunk driving

When you put the keys in the ignition after you’ve had too much to drink, you’re putting yourself at risk not only for legal penalties such as a DUI, but also for injuries or death.

Drunk drivers who survive crashes will likely face some of the following consequences:

  • Imprisonment. Doing time can add up quickly in many ways. If you’re charged with a DUI, you may go to jail, which could cause problems with your employer. You could face suspension or be fired for missing work while you’re behind bars. If you lose your driver’s license, you may also lose your job.
  • Difficulty finding work. Long after you complete the court’s requirements, a DUI will remain on your record. This can often cause problems finding future employment.
  • Guilt and depression. As an impaired motorist, you could injure someone for the rest of his or her life. You may even cause someone’s death. Many people who cause harm to others as a result of drinking and driving struggle with depression and guilt for many years, making it difficult to function as they once did.
  • Serious injuries. Drunk driving accidents may result in brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and permanent disability.

Under Indiana law, you are legally impaired if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. Drinking and driving is a serious offense, and even a single glass, mug or shot can put you over the legal limit. It’s important to remember that you may not feel impaired, but your body’s reaction time is often slower than you realize, and you don’t want to find out the hard way that you’ve had too much to drink.

The negative effects that can come from a single night of fun do not outweigh the potential damage, so be safe, and find a sober driver when the party’s over.