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Drunk driving causes thousands of deaths each year

Drunk driving refers to anyone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit. California has a legal limit for both drivers above and below the legal drinking age. The BAC of an individual varies based on the height and weight of that person and how quickly his or her body metabolizes the alcohol. A person who drives drunk has problems concentrating on the road and paying attention to other vehicles.

Approximately one person dies every 51 minutes in America from a car accident with a drunk driver. Younger drivers and those operating motorcycles are more at risk of suffering an injury or dying during a drinking and driving accident.

Those convicted of drinking and driving in California may face certain repercussions, including the installation of an ignition interlock device, suspension of his or her license and fines. In addition to the DUI charge, the driver may also face an involuntary or vehicular manslaughter charge, and drunk drivers may also face their victims in civil court.

Though motor vehicle accidents occur every few minutes in America, not all involved face the same injuries. These accidents can lead to death, severe head injuries or minor injuries that prevent victims from leading their normal, everyday lives.

To prove a driver was legally impaired, an attorney must present evidence of this fact. If police called to the scene believe the driver was impaired, officers may perform a Breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test. Information about the BAC of the driver will appear in the police report. Officers called to the scene of the accident may also appear in court to discuss what they saw and witnessed after the accident. Other eyewitnesses, including passengers in any of the vehicles, may also be called upon to testify in court.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", December 28, 2014

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