Let’s state the obvious: driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. There can be legal consequences for impaired driving even when a drug is legally prescribed. Impaired driving causes countless accidents and deaths per year. Fortunately, statistics for DUI vs. DWI show the numbers are declining slightly, a trend we would like to see continue. The best way to prevent future harm because of impaired driving is to seek help for addiction. A drug and alcohol addiction treatment program is the best way to avoid the dangerous consequences of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs.
If you want to know DUI vs. DWI, what constitutes drunk or impaired driving, or how to get help for addiction and begin recovery, reach out to Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC). Our highly experienced professional staff is equipped to support you as you consider a life of sobriety and wellness in which you don’t risk the consequences of drunk driving but can enjoy a healthy future. Reach out today by filling out this online form or calling us at 844.442.8673.
DUI vs. DWI – What Is the Difference?
In Pennsylvania and many other states, the difference between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI), has to do with whether a driver is over the legal limit of alcohol intake, typically determined to be DWI, or under the influence of another drug, more likely called a DUI, which is often more difficult to determine as non-alcohol drugs don’t show up on a breathalyzer. However, the term DUI can also be used more generally to include alcohol intoxication as well.
Regardless, driving while intoxicated endangers everyone on the road, including the driver.
For those who struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or simply overindulge in alcohol and then get behind the wheel, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above .08% is considered a violation of the law.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
Driving with any alcohol in your system puts you and others at risk. The legal limit of .08 is determined because of the significant increase in those risks above that level. Many believe the legal limit should be lower.
Alcohol causes many effects within the brain that result in the following outcomes, among others:
Reduced reaction times and ability to concentrate
If your processing time is reduced, your ability to react quickly to road conditions, traffic signs, traffic patterns, other cars, weather conditions, pedestrians, and more decreases significantly.
With impaired judgment, an intoxicated driver is more likely to become distracted, for example, by a text message coming in, and less likely to make sound decisions, such as about speed or whether to pass another vehicle. When driving, most choices must be made in an instant, which is difficult even when your judgment is at its best.
Poor hand-eye and foot coordination
Coordination among eyes, hands, and feet is critical to safe driving. Alcohol directly reduces coordination by more than 20% in many cases. From difficulty steering to managing the brake and gas pedals, impaired dexterity can have tragic consequences.
It should be clear why the consequences of drunk driving are often disastrous. Fatalities in the US due to drunk driving, when considered as a whole, account for a death every 30 minutes.
Driving under the influence of alcohol isn’t worth it. Death and injury, property damage, loss of freedom, revoked license, and financial burdens such as legal fees are just the beginning. Living with remorse is probably the hardest consequence to quantify.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program at PAATC
If you drink heavily to the point of impairment, fear that you are addicted to alcohol, and are concerned that you may ruin your life and those of others by taking needless risks behind the wheel, get help today. You deserve to live a healthy life free from the grip of alcohol.
At PAATC, we have been treating teens and adults for alcohol addiction for more than 60 years. Let us help you return to a life of sobriety and well-being. We offer evidence-based therapies, a faith-based rehab option, and a staff of trained, experienced, and compassionate therapists and addiction specialists.