Drinking and driving affect countless people across the United States, both people who drive impaired, and people who are involved in accidents related to alcohol. Police officers pull over millions of people every year for driving while under the influence of alcohol. It is a serious problem throughout the country, and facts and statistics reflect the severity of the issue.
Amount of Alcohol in Your System
Many people believe taking an hour or two between drinking and driving is long enough to make them sober enough to get behind the wheel. However, it takes around six hours for the body to completely dispel alcohol if you had a blood alcohol content level of 0.08. For a man who weighs 170 pounds, three to four beers can make him drunk enough that he should not drive. A woman of average size may only need one to three beers before becoming too drunk to drive. Over 80% of American drivers have heard of blood alcohol content, but only 27% can determine when their blood alcohol content level is too high to drive.
Circumstances of a Drunk Driving Accident
Due to people driving home from bars or parties late at night, 75% of fatal car accidents that happen between midnight and three in the morning involve alcohol. 75% of drunk drivers involved in an accident are not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident, a factor that often intensifies the injuries in a drunk driving crash. The most common time for people to drink and drive is on the weekend, and it happens more frequently in rural communities than cities. 18% of impaired driving accidents involve drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, often with alcohol mixed with these drugs.
Frequency of Drunk Driving Accidents
31% of all road deaths in the United States relating to alcohol consumption. The number of DUI accidents amounts to one drunk driving fatality every 45 minutes. Two out of every three people will experience a drunk driving accident at some time during his or her life, whether as the driver or the victim. 28.7 million people, more than the population of Texas, admitted to drunk driving at least once in 2013.
Police officers cannot catch every incident of drunk driving. In the United States, people drive drunk around 300,000 times, but police only catch and report 3,200 of the instances. People who receive DUIs have usually already driven while under the influence over 80 times. For many of the instances, he or she is unaware he or she is driving drunk.
Drunk Driving in the Different States
Though prohibited across the country, different states have different rules and regulations regarding driving under the influence. The varying rules affect the frequency of drunk driving incidences. The top ten most dangerous states for drunk driving are North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, South Carolina, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Utah, Minnesota, Indiana, Florida, and Georgia rank the lowest for drunk driving incidences.
Gender, Economic, and Age Differences
There are many factors that affect drunk driving instances. Gender, economic, and age differences can play a role in who and how often people drink and drive. White males are 50% more likely to drive under the influence than any other ethnic groups. Males from higher-income families and who have their own cars are more likely to drink and drive than female, lower-income teenagers, and people who do not own his or her own cars. Men are around twice as likely to drive under the influence and cause a fatal collision as women. Additionally, teenagers who smoke, drive cars without permission, or take part in other high-risk activities are more likely to drink and drive and get a DUI.