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DUI crash risks change with age

Driving under the influence is illegal because it increases the risks of an accident. While that seems simple enough, one possible assumption is that everyone has the same elevated risk when they are under the influence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that’s just not the case.

The CDC notes that the crash risk is higher for young drivers than it is for older drivers. This is true, the CDC says, no matter what the person’s blood alcohol concentration may be. So, a young person with a BAC of 0.08, right at the legal limit, is at a higher risk of crashing then an older person with a BAC of 0.08. That stays true even as the BAC climbs to 0.09, 0.10, and so forth.

Specifically, the CDC notes that 30 percent of drivers who were involved in deadly DUI crashes — with their BAC of at least 0.08 — were from 21 years old to 24 years old. That was the highest of any age group. The group from 25 to 34 was next, with a total of 29 percent, while the group from 35 to 44 clocked in with 24 percent.

It should be noted that this data could expose other trends. For example, it could simply show that those from 21 to 24 are more likely to drive under the influence than those over 44 years old. Still, it shows that those groups are at a higher risk, and the amount of involvement drops as people age.

Have you been hit by a drunk driver and suffered serious injuries? Now you’re facing time off from work and significant medical bills. Be sure you know if you have a right to compensation.

Source: CDC, “Who is most at risk?,” accessed Feb. 01, 2017