Facts and Statistics about DUIs in the US
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a pretty common violation that can have disastrous consequences. Many people have lost their lives or caused the death/serious injury of others when getting behind the wheel after drinking or using illegal drugs. Drunk driving is still a serious problem in the US and if you’re not familiar with its scope, the following statistics about DUIs in the US may come in handy.
The Scope of the Problem
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,265 people lost their lives in 2015 as a result of drunk driving crashes. These fatalities account for approximately a third of all the traffic-related deaths in the US.
During the same year, almost 1.1 million drivers were arrested and charged with a DUI. In most cases, these drivers consumed alcohol before driving. In 16 percent of the cases, the drivers had taken illegal drugs.
What’s even more troubling is the fact that there were 111 million self-reported episodes of impaired driving in the country during the same year. While the number is down from 161 million cases in 2006, looking at the statistics about DUIs in the US, the scope of the issue is still too significant to ignore.
Facts about Drunk Driving you’re Probably Unfamiliar with
The statistics paint a pretty shocking picture but there are many additional facts about DUIs that explain the depth of the issue and the gravity of the situation.
According to DoSomething.org, a driver will get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol 80 times before being stopped and arrested by police officers. As a result of this irresponsible behavior, a person gets injured in a DUI crash every 120 seconds. Just think about it – by the time you’re done reading this article, at least one person will get injured.
Measures against DUI are serious but they often prove to be ineffective. Anywhere between 50 and 75 percent of the individuals who have had their license taken away due to drunk driving will still drive illegally and without a license.
Of all the drivers who were arrested for fatalities in a drunk driving accident, 34 percent are in the 21 to 24 age range. This is the biggest group of drivers that kill people on the road as a result of intoxication. The 25 to 34 age group follows with 30 percent of the cases. Drunk drivers aged 35 to 44 are responsible for 25 percent of the fatal crashes.
What can be Done to Reduce the Number of DUI Accidents
Legislative changes are taking place all the time in the US to introduce more severe punishments for drunk drivers and increase safety on the road. This is the most important measure against drunk driving but it’s not the only one.
Apart from suggesting the right law, the government and local authorities should also be responsible for the enforcement of such policies. These include the 0.8 percent BAC Laws, the no tolerance policy for young drivers and the enforcement of the legal age of drinking.
Sobriety checkpoints, a community-based approach to alcohol and drug control, a reduction of the BAC threshold and higher excise taxes on alcohol could also be utilized for the purpose of discouraging drunk driving.
As far as individual efforts are concerned, every single person can make an impact.
Designating a driver who is not going to drink on a night out is one of the simplest ways to avoid accidents. The same applies to going out using a taxi or another driver service when you know that you’re going to consume alcohol.
Preventing a drunk friend or relative from driving by taking away their keys is another pretty simple but quite effective measure.
As an individual, you can also reduce the numbers in statistics about DUIs in the US. by hosting parties without serving alcohol, getting in the habit of using public transportation, booking hotels and sleep-overs whenever going home is not possible after the consumption of alcohol and educating children about drunk driving from an early age.