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Although it’s impossible to quantify the tragedy that is a single loss of life from a DUI accident, it’s also impossible to ignore the consequences of drunken driving during any discussion on the social issues and costs of binge drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

DUIs in America, the Numbers and the Social Costs

  • Roughly 30% of Americans will be involved in an alcohol involved accident at some point in life
  • In 2002, drunken divers took an estimated 159 million vehicle trips while impaired
  • In 2006 1.46 million Americans were arrested for driving while intoxicated and the average offender arrested for the first time for drunken driving will have driven while intoxicated 87 times before getting caught
  • In 2000, the estimated societal costs of DUI crashed topped $114 billion
  • In 2008, 11 773 Americans were killed in DUI accidents, which is 32% of all Americans killed in car accidents that year.
  • Between 50% and 70% of DUI offenders with suspended driver’s licenses will continue to drive and drivers over the legal limit who are involved in a fatal traffic accident are 8 times more likely than non drunk drivers to have had a previous conviction for drunken driving.1
  • Within the last 30 days, 28% of high school students have ridden in a car at least once piloted by a driver who had been drinking alcohol. 2
  • In 2006, 31% of teen drivers between the age of 15 and 20 who were killed in a traffic accident had been drinking alcohol.3
  • During the 2007 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, almost 5% of the drivers stopped late on Friday night and early (after midnight) on a Saturday morning were over the legal minimum blood alcohol content level.4
References
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Page last updated Jun 26, 2011

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