Since 1982, drunk driving fatalities have decreased by a staggering 51% on our nation's highways. Experts say causes may be due to multiple reasons. Among underage consumers, alcohol-related driving fatalities have decreased 80%. In 2015, the rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population was 3.2, showing a 65% decrease since 1982, when statistics on drunk driving were first tracked nationally. Drunk driving was still responsible for nearly 1 in 3 of vehicle fatalities in 2015.
Although drunk driving continues to be a problem, overall statistics show that great strides that have been made due to stricter laws, enforcement, and prevention programs. While many people are under the impression services such as Uber or Lyft are responsible for the drop in DUIs, a recent study revealed this is not the case. Many variables, including these newly introduced services, have contributed to the reduction in drunk driving and traffic fatalities.
In studying the 100 most populated areas of the United States from 2009 to 2014, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study concluded that the following strategies all helped reduce drunk driving-related incidents:
- Drunk Driving Laws- Stricter drunk driving laws across the country prohibiting anyone with a BAC of 0.08% or higher from driving along with a “zero tolerance” (0.00%) for any driver 21 years or younger
- Sobriety Checkpoints- Sobriety checkpoints allowing police to stop all vehicles and ascertaining whether the driver is impaired or intoxicated
- Ignition Interlocks- Installing ignition interlocks to measure alcohol on a driver's breath (usually in vehicles owned by people who have been convicted of drunk driving) and keeping the car from starting if alcohol above a certain level is detected (Note: Ignition interlocks have proven to be highly effective in preventing repeat offenses installed.)
- Mass Media Campaigns- National efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers and legal consequences of drunk driving
- Driver's License Revocation or Suspension Laws- Administrative license revocation and suspension laws (Note: In most states, including Georgia, a driver who either refuses BAC testing or tests above the legal BAC limit can have their license suspended through an administrative court even before their DUI charge is heard.)Drivers arrested for DUI in Georgia have 10 business days from the date of their arrest to submit an appeal letter to stop the pending suspension of their driver's license, or privilege to drive on the roadways of Georgia. This is known as the 10 day rule.The letter the driver must submit is known as the 10 Day Appeal Letter.
- School Based Instructional Programs – Educating youth on the dangers of driving drunk and not riding with impaired drivers
- Reducing Driving Risks- Passengers and drivers of motor vehicles can reduce the risk of drunk driving-related accidents by:
- Having a Designated Driver- Select someone who will abstain from drinking alcohol to drive others home
Avoiding Drinks with High Alcohol Content- Maintain greater control over alcohol level by having drinks with lower alcohol
- Refrain from Serving or Drinking Alcohol a Few Hour Before an Event Ends- By preventing alcohol use in the last hours of an event, individuals are given time to sober up, decreasing the chance anyone will drive while intoxicated
- Contact A DUI Lawyer-Although drunk driving-related accidents continue to decrease, DUI accidents still occur throughout Georgia. If you have been injured or involved in a DUI-related accident, consider the legal council of Don Turner Legal Team. (770) 594-1777