There is a strong sentiment among law enforcement in Colorado that drunk driving is not only hazardous to the public, it is a danger to drunk drivers themselves. There are a number of state laws designed to curb drunk driving, along with a host of penalties. But what about pedestrians who are inebriated? Do they pose a danger to the public as well?
According to a recent Associated Press report, drinking and walking can be hazardous to one’s health. Government data released on Monday indicated that more than one-third of pedestrians killed in accidents were legally drunk. Essentially, they had blood alcohol levels above .08.
The percentage of alcohol impaired pedestrians increases when considering those aged 25 to 34. In this group, half of the pedestrians killed were drunk. Meanwhile, only 13 percent of drivers involved in such accidents had blood alcohol levels above .08.
Just as alcohol can alter a driver’s judgment, it can distort a pedestrian’s view of reality and cause them to take risks they would not normally take. This may include trying to beat traffic when crossing the street or not paying attention to traffic lights.
Indeed, walking down the street while impaired is not a crime by itself. However, the dangers involved with drunk walking are worth noting. Also, in some urban areas (like downtown Denver) walking is more popular than driving. Also media campaigns against drunk driving are likely to keep drunk people out of vehicles and on sidewalks. Ultimately, pedestrians should take extra precautions to safe from oncoming vehicles.
Source: DenverPost.com, Drunk walking leads to pedestrian fatalities, August 5, 2013