On behalf of The Ward Firm posted in blog on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Most people don’t set out to drive drunk. Most people just want to go out and have a good time with their friends. Some people just lose track of how much alcohol they’ve actually consumed as the night goes on.

Ignorance is not an excuse, though, especially when an accident occurs.

Despite knowing the risks of drunk driving, many people still choose to do so. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.8 percent of drivers in California admit to driving after drinking too much. This number may seem low, but it amounts to 476,723 drivers on California roads. That number may be even higher since some people may not admit to drinking and driving at all.

The question, then, is why? Here are three possibilities.

1. Overconfidence

Alcohol affects people in different ways. For some, it causes too much confidence. Alcoholic beverages may reduce inhibitions and self-control. Some drinkers feel invincible, so they do not believe they are doing anything dangerous by getting behind the wheel.

2. Lack of awareness

Similarly, some people drive under the influence of alcohol because they are not aware they are drunk. Even casual drinkers fall into this trap. They may believe they handle alcohol better than others or have a high tolerance.

Individuals may also have problems if they consume alcohol while taking certain prescription medications. Certain medications do not mix well with alcohol, and could make someone more impaired than they normally would be, even after one drink.

3. Habit

Sadly, some people are repeat offenders, even if they already have DUI convictions. Such cases are often a symptom of alcoholism, a serious condition that often requires professional help to treat. For these drivers, even a second or third DUI may not be enough to deter them from taking the wheel after a night out.

Seeking compensation

No matter the reason, drunk driving can lead to serious consequences, including accidents and fatalities. Drunk driving is against the law, and it is a preventable crime.

If you or someone you know was the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses, including punitive damages against the drunk driver in certain cases. An attorney can help you assess your situation and make a strategic plan for how to proceed with your case.