While DUIs have been on a steady decline in the U.S. for more than a decade, the number of drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence is still troubling. More than 27 million drivers got behind the wheel after drinking in 2014, according to new numbers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). With progress made in recent years, these statistics also show there is still much to be done to curb drunk driving and the devastating consequences that are often the result.
The decline of DUIs
The recent statistics show that DUIs have been on a steady decline between 2002 and 2014. In 2002, 15.3 percent of all drivers on the roads drove under the influence of alcohol. By 2014, that number had dropped to 11.1 percent. The sharpest declines were seen in drivers between the ages of 21 and 25, where driving under the influence dropped from 29.9 percent to 18.9 percent from 2002 to 2014.
The data was collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which received the information by interviewing drivers about their alcohol and drug use before driving. The report broke down statistics by age group and gender to identify the groups still most at risk for DUI. The research found that males were more likely to drive under the influence in every age bracket.
DUI problem remains
Strides have been made in lowering the number of drunk drivers on the nation’s roadways, but the number of DUIs is still much too high for anyone to rest comfortably with that progress. In 2014 alone, 27.7 million drivers admitted to getting behind the wheel when they were under the influence of alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities involve either a driver or pedestrian that is intoxicated.
Nearly two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime, according to NHTSA. MADD states that while more than 300,000 people may drive drunk each day in this country, but only about 3,200 are arrested for DUI. Many drunk drivers go undetected on the roadways until a tragedy occurs.
“Although it is heartening to see a downward trend in levels of driving under the influence of alcohol, it still kills thousands of people each year and shatters the lives of friends and family left behind,” Frances Harding, director of SAMSHA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, stated on the administration’s website. “We must strive to save lives by reducing this public health threat through education, prevention and all other possible measures.”
The personal injury lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have seen firsthand the devastating effect drunk driving can have on family and friends. Picking up the pieces after one of these tragedies can seem nearly impossible for those that are left behind. Legal support is often needed to ensure rights are protected and victims of these accidents receive all of the compensation they are entitled to.
If you or someone you love is the victim of a drunk driving accident, our team can help. Contact the law offices of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye today to receive a free case evaluation and answers to all your legal questions.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The Rate of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol has Steadily Declined from 2002-2014, https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201612271200
- UPI, U.S. DUI Rates on the Decline, http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/12/30/US-DUI-rates-on-the-decline/7401483129551/
- AAP News, Report: DUI Rates Drop for those Ages 16-25 Years, http://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/01/06/DUI010616
- MADD, Statistics, http://www.madd.org/statistics/
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, Driving While Impaired: Alcohol and Drugs, https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/driving-while-impaired-alcohol-and-drugs