Binge drinking is defined as having more than 5 drinks for men, or 4 drinks for women, in a time span of less than 2 hours. When an individual consumes more alcohol than the body’s ability to metabolize, it can have a significant and prolonged impact on their ability to operate a motor vehicle.
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Binge Drinking in America
It is estimated that one in six American adults binge drinks four times per month. During these sessions, individuals consume an average of eight alcoholic drinks.
Adults aged 18-34 are most likely to binge drink. However, adults age 65+ who binge drink do so more often; an average of six times per month.
More than half of all alcohol consumed in the United States is consumed during a binge drinking session.
Binge Drinking & DWI
Binge drinking is the leading cause of DWI arrests. It is estimated that up to 85% of individuals who are arrested for DWI were binge drinking prior to their arrest.
For most individuals who have had four beers in less than two hours, their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will be above 0.08. At this level, they will have difficulty controlling the speed of the vehicle, and difficulty processing information from road signs, etc.
For individuals who have had five beers in less than two hours, they will have a BAC of 0.10%. Their reaction and processing time will be considerably slower than normal. In addition to difficulty reasoning and controlling speed, they will also have considerable difficulty maintaining the same road lane and stopping the vehicle before intersections.
If an individual has seven or more drinks, their BAC will be roughly 0.15%. At this level, the danger of passing out while driving is considerable.
Minnesota DWI Rates Declining
Nationwide, the number of self-reported “drinking and driving” instances is declining. In 2006, 161 million individuals reported drinking and driving. By 2010, that number had dropped to 112 million.
In Minnesota, more than 50% of arrests are for first-time offenders. Moreover, up to 60% of offenders never receive another DWI. Less than one in five drivers arrested for DWI will repeat the offense within four years following their arrest.
Statewide, DWI lawyers in Minneapolis have witnessed the rates of DWI arrests decline. In 2006, over 42,000 arrests were made. By 2015, that rate had dropped to 25,000.