Are the Increasing DUI Arrests Symptomatic of Alcohol Abuse
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the increasing number of DUI arrests is often symptomatic of a larger issue: Alcohol misuse and abuse. In fact, recent statistics paint a dark scenario, particularly in California where the State of California Department of Justice stated that the number of DUI arrests in 2015 amounted to 214,828. The picture gets darker when we take a macro view of the economic burden imposed on the nation, particularly when weighing in the annual drunk driving costs to the U.S.: According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) they are estimated at $199 billion. So, no matter how you look at the present situation, the annual drunk driving costs represent an enormous economic drain to the nation and its taxpayers. In truth, the costs to the California the taxpayer for drunk driving fatalities reached $5.4 billion. This does not even take into account the human costs which can amount to thousands of lives lost to drunk driving episodes.
These Staggering Stats Will Sober You Up
In California, the total number of traffic accidents in 2014 was 3,024. Meanwhile, the alcohol-related fatalities accounted for 1,053. This means that 34% of all traffic fatalities were the result of alcohol abuse. However, what should concern us most is the fact that the highest rate of drunk driving falls between the age range of 21 to 25 years old: A rate of 23.4%. And the rates are rising – more and more young people are falling victim to alcohol misuse, abuse, and binge drinking and the dangerous consequences that follow.
An additional view to the following stats by the NHTSA reveals the extent of drunk driving accidents and its tragic repercussions:
- Average number of people arrested annually for drunk driving: 1,500,000
- Average number of people who die annually in drunk driving accidents: 10,075
- Number of DUI arrests per 100,000 drivers: 1,250
- Percent of convicted drunk drivers who continue to drive on a suspended license 58 %
- Number of people who die each day in the U.S. from drunk driving accidents: 28
- Number of people who are injured each day in the U.S. from drunk driving accidents: 720
- Percent of people who will be involved in a drunk driving accident at some point in their life:63 %
- Number of people who admitted to driving drunk over the past year: 29,100,000
- Number of children (age 15 or under) killed in a drunk driving accident last year: 239
- Number of people arrested each day for drunk driving: 4,000
- Percent of convicted drunk drivers who were repeat offenders: 29 %
- Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes
Overall, these alarming and overwhelming statistics corroborate the fact that drunk driving is often a symptom of a larger problem: alcohol misuse and abuse.
Does Alcohol Own You? Time to Break Your Addiction
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State of California Department of Justice. CJSC Statistics: Arrests. Retrieved April 13, 2016
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Impaired Driving. Retrieved April 13, 2016
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
Department of Motor Vehicles. Annual Report of the California DUI Management Information System. Retrieved April 13, 2016.