Whether you are a drunk driver or a passenger in a vehicle, you are putting everyone else on the road at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of drunk driving accidents has increased in recent years. It is estimated that one out of every fifty people will be involved in a drunk driving accident at some point in their life. This is one reason why it is so important to be a responsible driver. Here are some facts about alcohol-related driving:
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Drunk driving accidents account for almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority reports that drunk drivers killed more than 10,000 people in 2018. It is estimated that alcohol-related crashes cost the economy $44 billion a year. This cost represents about $500 per person. Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Those who have been convicted of driving under the influence face up to 4.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drunk driving accidents increased by 9% in the year between 2019 and 2020. This year, NHTSA reported 10,511 alcohol-related deaths. Of these deaths, 51% involved a drunk driver. 214 children aged 14 and under were occupants of vehicles with a drunk driver.
During the holiday season, the number of drunk driving deaths increases dramatically. For instance, during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the number of drunk driving fatalities increased by 34%. Another report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that over half of all traffic deaths on Christmas and New Year’s day involved a drunk driver.
The Fourth of July was also a particularly deadly holiday. The day saw a spike in the number of drunk driving fatalities, with the day registering as the second deadliest day in the U.S. following July 4. The Labor Day weekend also saw a significant increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths. The weekend of Labor Day was also the deadliest in the U.S., with 147 fatalities reported.
The holiday seasons are also times of grief for many people. There are several reasons why drunk driving accidents are more prevalent during certain times of the year. Some of these reasons are that people are taking time off from work and other responsibilities, as well as attending barbecues. However, these holidays are also times of fun, so there is a tendency for people to relax and throw caution to the wind.
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 out of every three traffic accidents involve a drunk driver. The number of drivers arrested for DUI has increased in recent years, as the average number of drunk drivers killed every day has decreased. However, there are still nearly a million drivers who are arrested every year for driving under the influence of alcohol.