Drunk Driving Statistics

Drunk driving is a very serious offense and has lasting impact on those who have been subjected to an accident involving a drunk driver. Emotional and physical scars can remain for the people who are directly affected by drunk driving accidents over the years.  It is not that our culture does not understand the effects of drunk driving; but rather, the attitude that accompanies drunk driving is incredibly prevalent.  This so called attitude is primarily characterized as the it-won’t-happen-to-me-syndrome or illusion of control.

The seriousness of the problems  has gradually increased in what is now being called a national epidemic.  Like all epidemic’s, this one is no exception to having statistics.  The following are statistics concerning drunk driving from two crucial drunk driving organizations:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver every day. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes.  Worldwide statistics claim all lives taken amounts to almost 40% worldwide.

  2. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.

  3. In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

  4. Of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

  5. Of the 211 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010, over half (131) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.

  6. In 2010, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That’s one percent of the 112 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.

  7. Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.

  8. Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 % or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2010,  more than one out of every 3 were between 21 and 24 years of age (34%). The next two largest groups were ages 25 to 34 (30%) and 35 to 44 (25%).

  9. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were four times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system? (8% and 2%, respectively).

  10. Nearly half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists killed each year are age 40 or older, and motorcyclists ages 40-44 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of 0.08% or greater (44%).

Mother Against Drunk Driving (MADD):

  • Males were more likely than females (15.1 vs. 7.9 percent) to drive under the influence of alcohol in the past year.

  • The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. Only time will sober a person up. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower will not help.

  • Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.

  • One in six teens binge drink. Only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.

  • On average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.

  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.

Christensen & Hymas reminds everyone that there are legal consequences to drunk driving. Stay sober or get another person to drive the car if you have been drinking.

In summation, drunk driving is an epidemic that must be eradicated at all costs. A drunk driver may be numbed and detached from the surroundings; but the injuries, death, heartache and trauma can also numb the most unfeeling person from the tragic loss.  Any fatalities are tragic, but those fatalities that could have been prevented are especially tragic.   If you have suffered a loss or accident and would like a consultation, we at Christensen & Hymas provide a safe and comfortable consultations to put your mind at ease.  Call us at 801-506-0800

Photo “DWI Enforcement” copyright by versageek.

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Personally reviewed by Attorney Ken Christensen


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