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Dangers of drunk driving

Though the number of drunk driving deaths has declined by a third over the past three decades, it remains high. Every year on average in New York and across the U.S., there are over 10,000 fatalities due to drunk driving crashes. The resulting cost of these deaths averages about $44 billion. Motorcyclists are not immune either; in fact, they have the highest rate of deadly drunk driving crashes.

The consequences of drunk driving are clear. If one is pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, one will be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The penalties attached can vary but usually include fines, a revocation of one's driver's license and jail time.

One who is legally drunk will be found to have seriously impaired brain functions. That includes a lack of muscle coordination, self-control and proper judgment. In drivers, it results in the inability to stay in one lane or apply the brakes in time. Even a small amount of alcohol, though, can impair drivers by dividing their attention and making it hard to track moving objects.

This is why it's important for drivers to take steps preventing themselves and others from driving drunk. Designate a sober driver for the ride home or call a ridesharing vehicle.

Drunk drivers might be held liable for any motor vehicle accidents they cause since, after all, the accident could have been prevented. Those who were the victims of that negligence will first file with their own insurance company. If they suffered severe injuries or disabilities, they may be able to file a third-party insurance claim as well, in which case they may want to consult with an attorney. Such a claim can cover more, including rehabilitative care and lost wages.

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