The State of the Drunk Driving Nation

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Women are responsible for an increasing number of drunk-driving arrests, according to data released today by the NHTSA. FBI statistics ( PDF) show that DUI arrests of men fell 7.5 percent between 1998 and 2007, while the arrest rate for women climbed by nearly 29 percent in the same period. In absolute terms though, men still drink and drive far more: 626,371 DUI arrests of men were made in 2007, compared to 162,493 for women. According to NHTSA’s new Alcohol Impaired Drivers Involved In Fatal Crashes study ( PDF) though, state-by-state analysis confirms that women are working towards evening the score.

In 2008, the number of alcohol- impaired female drivers remained flat or increased in 15 States, comprising about 20 percent of the number of female alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes nationwide. In comparison, the corresponding percentage for males was about 17 percent in the 13 States where the number of alcohol-impaired drivers remained flat or increased.

Women were also found to be more likely to have two or more passengers as well as passengers under 14 when involved in a fatal accident while intoxicated. In those cases, it was found that intoxicated female drivers represented 62 percent of the fatalities, while passengers were only 18 percent. Wyoming, Kansas and New Hampshire were the only states to see a rise in fatal alcohol-caused crashes among men and women.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Mor2bz Mor2bz on Aug 23, 2009

    Primer gray the repeat offender's car. a rattlecan would do. what do you do with an addict. tough problem. Now so many people are on prescription drugs which act synergistically with alcohol. The drunk may be alot drunker than what the breathaliser shows. the current system is not working, that's for sure. In north dakota the boss just about has to drive his crew to work. many employees have lost their driving rights and/or cannot even get up in the morning to work. If you know one end of the hammer from the other you can make $20/hr. (I know that doesn't sound like much to some of you). With all of that said, I think my sister used to drive better after a beer or two. She was that high-strung.

  • Newcarscostalot Newcarscostalot on Aug 23, 2009
    toasty Right on! If more people would do that, or stay at home and drink, there would be less wrecks. One can only hope...
  • Loverofcars1969 Loverofcars1969 on Aug 24, 2009

    We need to encourage more bar owners to employ people to pay attention to patrons and assist them in getting cabs. That is if we are truly interesting in trying to cope with this problem.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Aug 24, 2009
    Primer gray the repeat offender’s car. a rattlecan would do. Or you could confiscate it. Drunk driving is still possible with interlocks, licenses suspensions and fines, but very hard without a car. I've seen this work, in a way, with speeders. On most Ontario roads, driving 50km/h over the speed limit is an automatic seizure of the vehicle.** On one hand, you get someone off the road who is driving recklessly (and 50km/h over is usually well past the "social speed limit" most people drive) and you prevent them from ever driving like that again. The second benefit is that the threat of it keeps other drivers who might speed a minute to think about whether or not it's a good idea, whereas the threat of a fine, points or such might not. I'd also like to point out that a good portion of the problems with alcohol abuse and driving are rural rather than suburban or urban, mostly because it's very hard to offer public transit, quality local pubs in a walkable entertainment district and/or drunk taxis when you're at a bush party in the middle of a cornfield. I don't think I ever drove drunk in Toronto or Montreal, nor do I know many people who did. I knew, and know, many now that I live outside a major city. That said, I do think rezoning so that we're not dealing with strip clubs and recycled beer outlets in industrial malls is a good thing. You should actually read this book, its very good: That is a good book regardless of which side of the political spectrum you reside on. Sprawl is a serious problem, and I don't think people really appreciate where it comes from and why it happens. ** unless you have a good reason, eg you're trying to get a heart attack patient to the hospital, in which case the police will normally help you with that and not seize your car.