Driving under the influence of alcohol kills nearly 12,000 people in the United States annually. Long-term heavy alcohol use can cause serious health conditions. Each year, in Illinois there are about 300 deaths due to alcohol-related accidents.
Ronald Kanwischer, assistant professor of psychiatry and a substance abuse counselor at SIU School of Medicine, explains the blood alcohol level at which drivers are considered intoxicated.
Kanwischer says there are serious legal and medical consequences to consuming alcohol and for driving under the influence. The most serious legal charges can carry a substantial fine. If the driver hurts another person, they can be sentenced to jail or even lose their license.