Despite all the social media awareness campaigns to alert people of the dangers of drunken driving, millions of people throughout the United States still drink and drive.
“…But what’s the harm? Besides, I got home safe and nobody got hurt.” Well, just because you got home safe last night does not mean you are making the right decision.
The Importance of Responsible Driving
Drunk driving is dangerous and is a threat to the safety of your friends as well as to that of innocent bystanders. Alcohol impairs your judgment, depth perception together with your vital driving skills. Simply put, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious concern since it leads to dangerous and deadly driving.
Progress Made In Cutting DUI Rates
Like most other social problems, driving under the influence of alcohol has simple solutions available. However, the federal government has had to make steps to progressively institute stricter regulations to enhance safety. Here are some of the measures:
- DUI courts or otherwise known as sobriety courts, wellness courts or accountability courts have confirmed effective in decreasing drunken driving offenses. These courts address drinking problems associated with hard-core repeat offenders by helping them treat their addiction problem. The recidivism of DUI courts is very minimal.
- Automatic driving license cancelation that may often be followed by a mandatory jail sentence. This has been the single most effective measure to lessen drunk driving.
- Vehicle impounding or confiscation of license plates.
- The adoption of a blood-alcohol content (BAC) test. The BAC test is used by law enforcement agencies and courts to prosecute drunk driving fairly.
- Mandating the fixing of interlock devices that avert drunken individuals from starting the vehicle.
- Expansion of alcohol-server training programs.
Drunken Driving Fatalities Decline in 2013
According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, drunken driving fatalities were reduced by 3.1 percent compared to the previous year. This translates to a nearly 25 percent decline in total highway deaths since 2004.
The data, which was taken from a base population of 100,000 between 1984 (when record-keeping began) and 2013, indicates that since 1984, the overall decrease in drunk driving has drastically been reduced by 65% nationally. Again, between 1991 and 2013, the rate dropped by 49%.
Help End Drunken Driving
These statistics reflect a rather positive progress on the many efforts being made by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to curb drunk driving around the nation. However, there are still many future lives that can be saved with enhanced efforts.
With that in mind, there are other several ways that you can help end drinking and driving. Some of these ways include the education of members of the community on the dangers of drunk driving, the legal repercussions of DUI, and the importance of utilizing other safety options (like personal driving services) when you plan to go drinking.