The statistics are staggering. Three out of ten Americans will be involved in alcohol related accidents during their lifetime. A full forty percent of the population will have their lives affected by drunk driving, whether by their own hand, or another driver.
In a study by Loyola University Chicago, over the period of a year, more than a half million people will suffer injuries in alcohol-related crashes. Forty thousand of these people suffer serious injury. The study goes on to state these crashes are approximately four times more likely to occur at night than during the day. The available facts on drunk driving are many and more than a little concerning.
The statistics are particularly gruesome for our young people. In the report by Loyola University, Illinois, drivers between the ages of 16-24 comprising only 15% of the State’s licensed drivers, account for 29% of alcohol related accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 16, 694 people killed during 2004 in alcohol related traffic crashes. This is an astonishing average of 39% of the total traffic fatalities.
The MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) web site, gives another eye-opening statistic. Eighteen million Americans, 8.5 % of the population, meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
A little, know fact is that the average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. Cold showers, strong coffee, or exercising will not sober up a drunk, only time will do the job. The human body metabolizes alcohol slowly and the alcohol effects last longer than you might think.
A drink, as it pertains to an alcohol beverage is 12 ounces for beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of 72-proof distilled spirits. All of these drinks contain the same level of alcohol, .54 ounces.
In 2003, a poll by the Gallup Organization indicated that 97% of the American public sees drunk driving as a threat to their safety. Sixty-five percent believe it is important to spend more tax dollars to reduce the problem. This is amazing considering Americans can be overly protective when it comes to spending their tax dollars.
According to the NHTSA, using the BAC or “Blood Alcohol Concentration,” puts .05 as the alcohol level in the blood stream that begins to affect concentration, .06 judgment processing and .08 severely affecting speed control and concentration. All states in the US now fix .08 as surpassing the legal BAC limit for driving.