Approximately 30,000 people will die from drunk driving in the United States each year, but the rate has been declining since its peak in the 1980s. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are about 1 million drivers arrested for DUI every year. Those who are convicted of a DUI can be sentenced to up to $15,000 in fines and fees.
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A national study of more than 34,000 fatal car accidents found that alcohol was involved in over one-third of those crashes. The rate of alcohol-related fatal crashes was higher at night than during the day. Moreover, 89 percent of all alcohol-related fatal crashes occurred in clear or cloudy weather. The NHTSA also determined that 87 percent of these crashes happened on non-interstate roads. In addition to determining where these fatal crashes took place, the NHTSA report also identified the types of vehicles involved.
In 2019, there were 11,654 alcohol-related deaths in the U.S., up 9% from the previous year. These numbers are calculated in several ways, including the rate of alcohol-impaired fatalities per 100,000 population. Each state is ranked based on the rate of fatalities, from the highest to the lowest. The District of Columbia has the lowest rate in the country, with 0.77 deaths per 100,000 people. New York, on the other hand, has the highest rate at 1.11 fatalities per capita.
A study of nearly a million driver arrests by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) discovered that one in 121 licensed drivers was charged with a DUI. A first-time offender can face up to $15,000 in fines and costs. In addition, those who are convicted of a DUI are subject to increased insurance premiums. Those who are arrested for the first time can get up to a $2,000 interlock ignition device installed in their vehicle.
In 2018, the number of alcohol-related fatal crashes was higher than in any other year. More fatal crashes involved a driver who was drunk in May, July, and October than in any other month. During the summer months, a person dies in a drunk driving crash each day. The Fourth of July is the most deadly day for drunk driving, with more than one-third of all fatal crashes taking place on that day.
The rate of alcohol-impaired fatalities decreased by almost 50 percent from 1991 to 2017. The NHTSA reported that the amount of alcohol-related traffic fatalities dropped from 9.1 per 100,000 people to 3.2. The rate of alcohol-impaired fatalities for those under 21 years old was also down 84 percent from 6.9 to 1.1.
The NHTSA reported that there were over a million arrests for driving under the influence in the United States in 2018. The number of DUI convictions is also on the rise. During the past four years, nearly twice as many drivers were arrested for driving under the influence as there were in 2008. Those who are charged with a DUI are typically arrested after they have been behind the wheel more than 80 times. However, even if you have not been arrested for a DUI before, you are likely to cross paths with a drunk driver at some point in your life. In addition, 65% of drivers report that they are “very concerned” about drunk driving.
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