A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 4 million American adults admit to occasionally drinking and driving.
The statistics come from a detailed survey conducted of American health behaviors and habits. One of the questions on the survey asked participants how many times they had driven in the last 30 days when they had “perhaps too much to drink.” The results of the survey, extrapolated to the entire US drinking population, worked out to 4.2 million adults. Researchers are now saying that’s probably an underestimation, considering that many people might not want to confess to this, or might not admit it to themselves. It also doesn’t take into account underage drinking.
"Alcohol-impaired driving crashes account for approximately one third of all crash fatalities in the United States," writes Amy Jewett, the head of the research team, in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
When breaking out alcohol-impaired driving episodes and fatalities geographically, a good deal of variation was found from one state to another. The state with the highest number of incidents per capita is Hawaii (995), while the lowest is Utah (217).
Juxtaposing these findings with the BACtrack Consumption Report, this data makes sense. Hawaii’s average BAC level is on the higher side (0.077%), while Utah’s average is one of the lowest in the country (0.031%).
Additional evidence supporting the CDC's report can be found in a survey BACtrack conducted in February, 2015. In that survey, we found:
- 50% of drinking adults have driven a car in the past unsure they were sober enough to drive
- 63% have been a passenger in a car, unsure the driver was sober enough to drive
- 63% of drinking adults don't know how many drinks it takes them to reach the legal drunk driving limit of 0.08% BAC
The CDC's report also found that young men between 21-34 years of age accounted for the highest number of episodes--32% of the total.
Regardless of your geographic location or gender, this is a wakeup call for every one of us. If over 4 million intoxicated drivers are regularly on the road, the need for breathalyzers has never been greater.
If you own a BACtrack Breathalyzer, please bring it with you when you drink and use it publicly to make smarter, more informed decisions—and to let others know you are serious about preventing drunk driving.
Do you know someone that drinks irresponsibly, or who regularly has problems making smart, safe decisions while under the influence? Give them an early birthday present—a Professional Grade BACtrack could be the difference between life and death for them or someone they interact with on the road. Imagine how it would feel if you knew someone who drove under the influence and hurt or killed themselves or someone else—and that you had the power to prevent it.
It’s called social responsibility. We all have the power to change our own reality and that of those we interact with—but only if we make smart decisions now. After the fact, it’s too late, and there’s no bringing back the past.