Despite entire generations being warned about the dangers of drunk driving, every day people take a risk and get behind the wheel while they are intoxicated. Sometimes they make it home without an issue. Sometimes they end up hurting a lot of people.
Almost 33% of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
In 2011, over 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. That’s over 1.2 million chances for lives to be changed forever and not in a good way! That’s why knowing these statistics is so important. If you know someone who is at risk of driving drunk, do your best to convince them to hand over the keys.
Three Fast Facts About Repeat DUI/DWI Drivers
1. 21 to 25 year olds have the highest reported rates of driving drunk, with 23.4% admitting that they have done so.
2. The average person will only metabolize about one drink per hour, which is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits.
3. 54% of the children that were killed by drunk drivers in 2011 were riding in the car with the person who was driving drunk.
Takeaway: It’s easy to say that when you were young and a kid, you made some silly, stupid decisions that impacted others in a negative way. If you’re the one who gets to be that older person, it’s a nice luxury to be able to look back in regret on past mistakes. For 226 children in 2011, they’ll never have that opportunity and their deaths – ever single one of them – were completely preventable because they were caused by drunk drivers. It’s critically important to think ahead of time about how you’re going to get home so you have money for a cab or have a friend who can drive you. Don’t let yourself be stuck in a lose/lose situation.
How Bad is Repetitive Drunk Driving Today?
1. A person with at least one prior DUI/DWI offense is 4.1 times more likely to be involved in a fatal automobile accident compared with first time offenders.
2. For every additional DUI/DWI conviction, the risks of being involved in a fatal car crash increases.
3. In 1992, more people were arrested for DUI than for any other offense, the last year that complete data has been studied.
4. There are 300k drinking and driving events every day that occur with 100k of them, on average, being from repeat drunk drivers.
5. 28 people die every day because of the choices drunk drivers make.
6. Kids who begin drinking at a young age [below 21] are 7 times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related accident.
7. 1 out of every 6 teens admit to binge drinking, but only 1% of parents believe their children does so.
Takeaway: Denial won’t change the fact that people are taking innocent lives into their hands every day and getting away with it. If you put all the numbers together, there are 112 million incidents of drunk driving that occur just in the United States every year. That’s 112 million chances for someone to be involved in a fatal accident and change their lives forever – not to mention the lives of strangers they’ve never met. Even though the number of deaths caused by drunk driving has declined by 50% over the last 30 years, even one life taken because of the choice to get behind the wheel drunk again is too many.
What Is The Problem?
1. By the time a driver is arrested for their first DUI, they have on average driven drunk at least 80 times before.
2. 33% of 8th graders admit that they have tried drinking alcohol at least once.
3. Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $500 per year because of the over $100 billion in expenses the problem incurs.
4. In 2012, one person died every 51 minutes because of the actions of a drunk driver.
5. Someone is injured every 90 seconds because of the actions of a drunk driver – or 3 people in the average time it takes to read this article.
6. Drivers with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 are 7 times more likely to have been convicted of driving drunk in the past.
7. Only 17% of impaired drivers who are injured in a crash while driving drunk are convicted. 72% of them aren’t even charged with a crime.
Takeaway: There are several problems with repetitive drunk drivers, but it begins with early education. All of the statistics show that kids who start drinking early are more likely to become repeat DUI offenders. The risks increase even more when kids turn into binge drinkers before the age of 18. The amount that people drink also increases the risks. 85% of the drivers who tested positive for blood alcohol after a fatal crash were above the .08 limit and 32% of them where between the ages of 21 to 24.
What Can Be Done?
1. 79% of Americans support requiring drivers who have been convicted of a drunk driving offense to use equipment that tests them for alcohol.
2. 1 out of every 165 licensed drivers in the United States is arrested for driving under the influence every year.
3. The most frequently record BAC level for impaired drivers in a fatal crash is 0.16, or double the legal limit.
Takeaway: What can be done about repetitive drunk driving must come from a proactive point of view. Education is the start, but there must also be the willingness to stop serving someone who has had too many. Despite popular beliefs, coffee or a cold shower does nothing to alter the blood alcohol content that is found in someone who has been drinking. Only time can help the body process the alcohol, which means it is time to call a cab if someone has been drinking.