Rates of drunk driving have steadily dropped in the U.S., says a new report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to the latest statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the incidence of driving while impaired by alcohol plummeted from 15.3 percent in 2002 to 11.1 percent in 2014. The data shows that one of the steepest declines in drunk driving rates is among drivers aged 21-25, which are historically one of the biggest offenders. The drunk driving rate dropped over ten percent for this age group in the last 12 years.
While this downward trend is encouraging for road safety officials and motorists alike, driving under the influence of alcohol still claims thousands of innocent lives each year. “We must strive to save lives by reducing this public health threat through education, prevention, and all other possible measures,” said Frances Harding, head of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, in a recent press release.
Rates of DUI – by gender & age group
The SAMHSA report offered valuable insight into DUI rates by age group and gender, showing that younger drivers were more likely to self-report instances of getting behind the wheel while impaired by either drugs or alcohol.
2014 drunk driving statistics included in the report:
- 7 million Americans aged 16 or older drove drunk or while impaired by drugs
- DUI rates increased steadily from age 16 until age 29
- Drunk driving rates began to drop in people aged 30 and older
- Only 4.1 percent of drunk drivers were aged 65 or older
- Males were more likely to drive while drunk, or drive while impaired by drugs and alcohol compared to females
Additional sobering facts about the consequences of driving under the influence:
- Alcohol–related deaths accounted for 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2014
- 28 people die every day in a crash caused by a drunk driver
- 9,967 Americans were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2014
- Up to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license
Drunk driving is a national hazard
In Louisiana, it is illegal for motorists to operate a vehicle when they have a blood alcohol concentration exceeding .08 percent. What many people don’t realize is that just two cocktails or glasses of wine are enough to impair motor skills and slow reaction times.
Victims of drunk driving accidents not only have to face the injustice of another person’s mistake, they have to deal with burdens of medical bills, lost income, property damage, and perhaps the premature death of a loved one.
Those who do survive a DUI accident in Louisiana may be entitled to sue for compensatory and punitive damages. Litigation can pursue money damages for things like past and future hospital and medical bills, pain and emotional suffering, diminished earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life.
Experienced legal help in Louisiana
At the personal injury law office of Bart Bernard, we understand the traumatic and life-altering consequences of car accidents – especially those caused by drunk drivers. And as a leading car accident lawyer in Louisiana, Bart Bernard will leave no stone unturned to achieve the compensation you deserve.
To discuss your case free of charge, we invite you call any time, night or day.
Additional Impaired Driving/DUI Resources:
- SAMHSA, The rate of driving under the influence of alcohol has steadily declined from 2002-2014 https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201612271200
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Impaired Driving: Get the Facts https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html