Getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous and irresponsible action. It can cause a lot of emotional and physical damage to both the driver and other people. It can also lead to costly legal hassles. The cost of drunk driving accidents in the United States is estimated to be $44 billion each year. These crashes are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people each year. Fortunately, these accidents have decreased in recent years. The number of drivers who are arrested for drunk driving has dropped dramatically in the past few decades.
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The number of drunk driving accidents varies widely from state to state. Some states have fewer than one fatal crash per year, while others have more. The percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes is calculated for each state. The lowest rate in the nation is in the District of Columbia, where the rate is only 0.77 deaths per 100,000 residents.
The age group that is most likely to drive under the influence of alcohol is young. The CDC reports that drivers aged 21 to 25 account for four-fifths of all drinking drivers who have died in a crash. The corresponding percentage for drivers over the age of 55 is slightly lower. There is also a trend toward lower alcohol-related traffic fatalities for younger individuals on the road.
The most common time of day when drunk driving crashes are seen is at night. However, alcohol-related fatalities are found in crashes throughout the day, as well. The Fourth of July is the most dangerous holiday for drunk drivers, with almost 42% of fatal drunk driving crashes occurring on the holiday. Approximately 4,200 of the fatal drunk driving crashes that occur on the Fourth of July involve motorcycles.
In the United States, there are over 11 million drunk driving crashes each year. These accidents take the lives of an estimated 10,000 people each year. While the numbers vary by region, there are a few common factors that tend to increase the odds of a DUI-related crash. These include:
In 2010, a drunk driver killed at least one person every two minutes in the U.S. During this same period, 310 funerals took place each week. Moreover, one in eight Americans is expected to be involved in a drunk driving crash at some point in their life. The average age of a driver who is involved in a crash that causes injury or death is 37 years old.
In Texas, there were about 1,061 fatalities caused by drunk driving in 2018. In the United States, drunk drivers kill an average of one person every 15 hours. It is important to note that drunk driving is illegal for anyone under the age of 21, and it is punishable by up to a year in jail as a first offense. Having a child 14 or younger in the vehicle with a drunk driver is considered a Class 6 felony. Those with multiple felony convictions for impaired driving can receive up to 4.5 years in prison.