Preventable. Selfish. Irresponsible. Senseless. Expensive. Reckless. Dangerous. Even Fatal.
These are all words to describe driving while intoxicated, yet despite the fact that we all know it’s illegal, not to mention just plain wrong, in 2010, 300,000 people in America still drove drunk. Every single day.
It’s hard to decide which adjective above best describes the problem DUIs pose, but Preventable and Fatal serve as appropriate bookends.
Drunk driving is preventable, and the cost in dollars to avoid the consequences is probably a mere $20 cab ride, or the equivalent of a couple of drinks at most bars today. Yet the fatal cost in the loss of life is immeasurable. So why do people still drive under the influence of alcohol every day? Selfish is the best word to describe it.
We could ramble on about the hows and whys but it’s probably better to illustrate with drunk driving statistics and an easy to read infographic below from Instant Checkmate.
Here are 15 Facts About Drunk Driving in America
1. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is illegal in all 50 states
2. The average cost of a DUI to the drunk driver is $10,000
3. Drunk driving costs the United States $132 Billion every year (that’s a lot of zeroes)
4. 33% of drunk drivers are repeat offenders
5. 75% of people with a DUI continue to drive without a license
6. Someone is injured in a drunk driving accident every 90 seconds
7. in 2010, 1.4 Million drivers were arrested for drunk driving
8. People drive drunk 80 times before getting caught (on average)
9. Men drive drunk more than women
10. In 2010, there were 300,000 drunk driving incidents every day
11. 1 in 3 people will be in a drunk driving incident in their lifetime
12. 27 people die every day from an alcohol-related accident
13. 33% of car accidents are related to drunk drivers
14. 211 children were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2010 alone
15. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and 1 in 3 of them are related to alcohol
If by some strange coincidence, you were the only person on the road one night, then by all means, go ahead and drive drunk. The only life you might harm would be your own. But that will never be the case. So take responsibility for yourself and others you share the road with, and call a friend or take a cab if you’ve had too much to drink. Because no parent should ever have to outlive their child.