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CDC: 1 death caused by drunk driving every 48 minutes

Getting behind the wheel of a car is one of the most reckless decisions a driver can make. And while every motorist should be well aware that driving under the influence of alcohol puts themselves and every other person on the road in danger, too many people continue to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Drunk driving is not a small issue; it is one that regularly destroys families and changes people's lives. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one person is killed every 48 minutes in a drunk driving accident. That adds up to about 30 deaths a day or more than 10,000 a year.

Despite the extensive educational and marketing campaigns aimed at informing people about how serious it is to drive drunk, there are people who are clearly missing the message. They may tell themselves that they can drive just as safely after a few drinks as they could if they were sober.

But it is well known that intoxication dramatically affects a person's ability to drive safely. Alcohol slows reaction times and impairs a person's judgment. It can make a person take unnecessary risks and lose focus. Alcohol can negatively affect a person's vision, reflexes and coordination; all of which are crucial to driving safely. 

Drunk driving accidents do not just happen on their own. They are the result of a person's careless decision to drive when they are likely aware that they shouldn't be behind the wheel. It is not possible to undo an accident that has already happened, but victims and their families should remember that they have the right to hold drunk drivers accountable for the damage caused by their actions. Legal consequences and financial compensation can be a powerful reminder that drunk driving is a punishable offense that is completely avoidable.

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