Drinking and driving related crashes claim thousands of lives every year in the United States. The key to staying safe while driving comes from knowing the facts about DUI and what can cause alcohol-related crashes. Here are 10 sobering DUI statistics you may not have known:
1. You can be arrested for less than .08
Being pulled over for DUI in some states can result in an arrest even if your blood alcohol content is less than .08. If an arresting officer believes your ability to drive is impaired and thinks you may be a safety hazard behind the wheel, he or she has the authority to arrest.
2. More than 10,000 people will die in alcohol-related crashes
This year alone, 10,800 people will die in a drunk driving crash. That’s one person every 50 minutes.
3. Your chances of being in a crash are high
An estimated one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash during his or her lifetime.
4. Teen drivers are at high risk
One in three teen deaths are due to alcohol-related crashes
5. The average drunk driver isn’t caught right away
On average, repeat drunk drivers have driven under the influence more than 80 times before their first arrest.
6. Drunk drivers continue to drive despite penalties
50-75% of drinking drivers will continue to drive despite having their privilege to drive suspended.
7. Young drinkers are more likely to turn into drinking drivers
If a young person starts drinking at a young age, he or she 7 times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
8. Teen alcohol use can be deadly
Drinking teens make up 6,000 people who die each year due to alcohol. This number makes for more deaths than all teen illegal drug deaths combined.
9. Not all alcoholic beverages are created equal
Given that not all alcoholic beverages have the same alcohol content, the ‘one or two drink rule’ does not apply when safely getting behind the wheel. For example, a single shot of 80 proof liquor has 40% alcohol content and one glass of table wine has 12%.
10. DUI related deaths vary by State
In 2010, North Dakota and South Carolina had the highest number of DUI related deaths at 44%, followed by Texas at 42%.