Study: No amount of alcohol is safe for drivers in Ohio, elsewhere

Based on the findings of one study, consuming any amount of alcohol is dangerous for drivers and may contribute to them causing serious crashes.

Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents occur all too often in Ohio, and elsewhere. In fact, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that there were more than 12,400 alcohol-related collisions in 2014 alone. Despite knowing the risks, people often choose to get behind the wheel after drinking because they do not think they have had too much to drink. According to one study, however, any amount of alcohol consumption may be dangerous for motorists.

Examining the link between alcohol consumption and crash risk

Researchers from the University of California at San Diego conducted a study to understand if official blame for auto accidents increases with alcohol consumption. For the study, they used data from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System database. The researchers looked at the relationship between the degree to which drivers were solely blamed for collisions and their blood alcohol content, or BAC, levels. Their findings were published in the Injury Prevention journal.

At any level, alcohol poses risk to motorists

Based on the study's findings, there is no safe combination of drinking and driving. According to a UC San Diego News Center report, the researchers found the likelihood of being blamed for causing a car crash was 46 percent more likely for drivers with a BAC level of 0.01 percent compared to sober motorists. 0.01 percent is well below the legal limit of .08 percent. The study showed that accident blame increases for motorists as their BAC levels increase.

Why is drinking and driving dangerous?

Much of the danger associated with drinking and driving is due to the effects of alcohol consumption on the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most common effects of alcohol on the body include the following:

• Impaired perception

• Compromised judgment

• Reduced coordination

• Difficulty concentrating

• Impaired response to emergency driving situations

Due to these and other effects, people's ability to safely operate motor vehicles may be compromised. As a result, they may be more likely to cause collisions, which often result in serious injuries or death for the drunk drivers themselves, as well as for other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Seeking legal guidance

When people in Ohio are injured in drunk driving accidents, they may sustain injuries, which require extensive medical treatment. This may lead to unexpected medical expenses and affect their ability to work and provide for their families. However, the motorists who cause such collisions may be held liable for the resulting damages. As such, it may benefit those who have been involved in these types of crashes to consult with an attorney. A legal representative may help them understand their rights for pursuing financial compensation and guide them through the legal process.