impaired driving

The Alcohol Epidemic: Booze Behind the Wheel

The legal drinking age in this country is 21, but over five thousand people under 21 die from alcohol every year.

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

For Alcohol Prevention Month we’re focusing on the dangers of drinking and driving. Alarmingly, in 2019 there were 10,142 deaths from drunk driving accidents (U.S. Department of Transportation). When you get behind the wheel after having a drink, you’re not only endangering yourself, you’re putting others at risk, too.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

According to the NHTSA, the smallest blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can be hazardous.

  • While a BAC of .02 and .05 is legal, it can still cause you to feel lightheaded, lowered alertness, small-muscle control loss, and a release of inhibitions.
  • A BAC of .08 results in impaired memory, reasoning, and self-control, difficulty to detect danger, and poor muscle coordination.
  • Finally, A BAC of .10 or higher yields poor coordination, slurred speech, vomiting, loss of balance, and far less reaction time and control.

All of these impairments affect your driving. From a decline in visibility to delayed reactions to complete loss of control, drinking and driving is never a safe combination.

Be Responsible

  1. Have a safe way home from a party or night out.
  2. Do not allow others who have been drinking to get behind the wheel.
  3. Have a designated driver before you head out for a night of drinking.
  4. Always wear your seatbelt.
  5. If you are underage, do not drink. If you are an adult, do not provide alcohol to minors.

For more information on underage drinking and alcohol prevention, visit the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition at https://adctusc.org/committees/alcohol/. Please visit www.tchdnow.org or find them on Facebook for more information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department and their services.

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