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How does alcohol affect one's ability to drive?

Anytime you drive, you are putting yourself at risk. Even if you are the safest driver on the road, distracted and otherwise negligent drivers can thrust you into harm's way. If you wind up in a car accident caused by one of these drivers you could face serious damages in the form of physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as financial losses. These damages can leave you and your family in financial hardship, struggling to find a way to get by.

Amongst the most dangerous of all accident types is that which involves intoxicated drivers. According the NHTSA, about 32 percent of fatal car accidents involved an intoxicated driver or a pedestrian. Additionally, almost 4,000 injured drivers who died as a result of their injuries tested positive for drugs. In 2011 alone, 1.2 million people were arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Even one alcoholic beverage can affect an individual's ability to drive. Alcohol slows the functioning of the nervous system, directly affecting information processing, hand-eye coordination and other skills vital to safe driving. Intoxicated drivers may have impaired judgment, comprehension and reaction time. Their vision can also be impaired.

So, if you've been injured in a drugged or drunk driving accident and have suffered damages as a result, you should be sure to do everything you can to protect your legal rights and recover the compensation to which you are entitled. Utilizing evidence of intoxication, such as field sobriety and blood alcohol tests, may be critical to your success. These evidentiary matters can be hotly contested by defense attorneys, though, so you may need to ensure that you have the legal assistance that you need to make and meet any objections that may arise.

Source: NCAAD, "Driving While Impaired - Alcohol and Drugs," accessed on Jan. 8, 2017

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
114 Main Street
Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: 304-250-3280
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