Drivers Impaired by Alcohol, or Drugs

The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has reported that the combination of alcohol, drugs and driving can be a dangerous and deadly combination. Driving requires a person’s attentiveness and the ability to make quick, specific decisions. Alcohol slows down the functions of the central nervous systems, normal brain functions are delayed. Alcohol diminishes information processing skills, also known as cognitive skills and hand eye coordination, also referred to as psychomotor skills.

Drivers impaired by alcohol, or drugs are responsible for one third of fatal car crashes. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, about one quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that more than 16% of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over the counter medications.

In Arizona, 2,912 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver, between 2003-2012.

Strategies to reduce or prevent drunk driving include laws that make it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol combination of 0.08% or higher, sobriety checkpoints, and mass media campaigns. Ignition interlocks installed in cars measure alcohol on the person’s breath. Interlocks can keep the car from staring if the driver has a BAC above a certain level, usually at 0.02%