How Does Drunk Driving Affect Society?
Whether it is driving while intoxicated, binge drinking or excessive consumption, alcohol abuse is a serious public health problem. Alcohol is an addictive substance that can lead to harmful side effects. Alcohol-related traffic crashes also cause injury and death. Alcohol-impaired driving is illegal, and the consequences can include high insurance rates, time in jail, and financial hardship.
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Research has shown that alcohol use is unevenly distributed across populations. In addition, drivers who test positive for drugs and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.05% have a 5.34 times greater likelihood of crashing than drivers who do not test positive for drugs. Alcohol impairs sensory motor function and reaction time. It also slows breathing and cognitive skills may be delayed. In addition, alcohol use leads to more excessive speed crashes. Compared to other high-income countries, the United States has the lowest average alcohol consumption per capita.
In the United States, the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occurred in the Midwest and South. However, the West experienced the largest increase in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities from 2000 to 2013. In addition, the percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers who test positive for drugs and have BACs at or above 0.08% increased from 4.5 percent to 5.7 percent in the last decade.
In the United States, drivers ages 21 to 29 years old were most likely to be involved in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. In addition, drivers who are 21 to 29 years old are more likely to drive at excessive speed than drivers in other age groups. In addition, drivers between 16 and 20 years old are 10 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers who are over 21 years old. However, drivers who are between 16 and 20 years old are less likely to be drinking than drivers in other age groups.
In the United States, there has been a long-term effort to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. For example, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends community interventions to curb excessive drinking. However, it is difficult to design effective intervention strategies without considering the local context.
Several communities have enacted laws to restrict the availability of alcohol. Others have set up saturation patrols to enforce DUI laws. These measures can reduce alcohol-related traffic crashes. However, they are often not effective without resources and personnel to support them. In addition, a large number of communities are pushing for new initiatives to protect adolescents from alcohol-related driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) commissioned a report on alcohol and highway safety in the United States. The report found that the percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased from 2015 to 2016. In addition, 29 states reported increases in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. However, the largest decrease occurred in Wyoming, which experienced a 40.7 percent reduction. Other states that experienced a decrease in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities were Mississippi, New York, California, and Vermont. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that alcohol-impaired driving was two times more prevalent than drug-impaired driving.