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Drunk driving accidents, a major concern in the United States

Car accidents are a serious problem in Yuma, and throughout the United States, with distracted driving the leading cause of such accidents. Drunk driving, also known as driving while intoxicated, or driving under the influence, has been found to be a major cause of distracted driving.

A driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is a prominent test to find out whether a driver is driving above the legal level. A BAC level of 0.8% is set as the legal permissible blood alcohol level in most states, including the state of Arizona. Studies found that drivers with BAC level of 0.10% were involved in around 2,058,400 car crashes, amounting to 12,892 fatalities and 448,630 injuries. A BAC level of 0.08% to 0.9% was responsible for around 35,410 car accidents, amounting to 1,097 fatalities and 20,150 injuries.

Many prohibitive steps have been taken by many states in the U.S. to control the level of DUI charges. Many states allow their police or authorities to revoke a license automatically, if a driver refuses or subsequently fails a blood alcohol test.

It has been estimated that this step alone has resulted in minimizing DUI related accidents by 6.5%. Most states have a zero tolerance law for underage drinkers. Under this policy, a driver under the age of 21-years may face severe DUI charges, if he or she tests over the BAC limit.

In Arizona, licenses have become a graduated step by step process. Full licenses are received only after first obtaining a learner's permit and then a provisional driving license. Thus, greater experience requirements for a full-fledged driver have reduced car accidents by 5% amongst youths, including a 2% decrease in deaths related to drunk driving accidents.

Many new methods for prevention have also been suggested by various authorities. They include checkpoints for sobriety checks, and training for bartenders serving inebriated patrons in a bar. Repeat offenders may also face severe penalties, including impoundment of their cars, ignition interlock, which checks their sobriety level, and house arrest.

Source: NHTSA.gov, "Impaired Driving in the United States," accessed on Aug. 6 2014

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