Over Four Million Reported Driving Drunk In The Last Month
August 19, 2015
A new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than four million drivers reported that they have driven while impaired in the previous month.
To compile the report, the CDC used the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, an anonymous telephone survey conducted by state health departments for the CDC that looks at behavioral risk factors nationwide. The results from the survey show that “an estimated 4.2 million adults reported at least one alcohol-impaired driving episode in the preceding 30 days.”
The survey goes on to break down the numbers by sex, age, and state. The greatest number of reported episodes were among men (80%). Among the men, the age group with the highest number of reported incidents were young men between the ages of 21 – 34 years (32%). The greatest number of reported incidents were reported in mid-western states.
Among those reporting an impaired driving incident, 85% also reported episodes of binge drinking. Binge drinking was defined as “women drinking four or more alcoholic beverages per occasion and men drinking five or more alcoholic beverages per occasion.” Those who reported binge drinking at least four times per month also accounted for 61% of the reported impaired driving episodes.
The survey also looked at seat belt use and those who reported that they didn’t always wear a seat belt had an impaired driving rate three times higher than those who reported always wearing a seat belt. Seat belt use was lower (55%) in states that had a secondary seat belt law compared to those who lived in states with a primary seat belt law (74%).
To combat the problem of drunk driving, the CDC suggested that states and localities should consider interventions that have proven to be effective such as:
- Expanding the use of publicized sobriety checkpoints.
- Enforcing 0.08 g/dL BAC laws and minimum legal drinking age laws.
- Requiring ignition interlocks (i.e., breath-test devices connected to a vehicle’s ignition that require a driver to exhale into the device, and that prevent the engine from being started if the analyzed result exceeds a preprogrammed level) for all persons convicted of alcohol-impaired driving.
- Increasing alcohol taxes.
- Additionally, all states might consider enacting primary seat belt laws that cover all passengers to help reduce fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
To see how your state ranked in the survey, visit: Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving State Fact Sheets