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There are a lot of myths about drinking and driving. But the truth doesn’t change:  according to drunk driving statistics, there’s no safe way to drink and drive. This is true even if you’ve had just one drink. So, read on to learn 6 facts about drinking and driving:

1. The number of people who drive drunk could fill up the state of Texas.

According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), 28.7 million people admitted that they drove while intoxicated in 2013 alone. This number is higher than the population of Texas.

2. Even a small amount of alcohol in your system can contribute to a fatal accident.

Drunk driving statistics from the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state that in the US, almost 30 people each day die in alcohol-related crashes. That amounts to about one fatality every 50 minutes.Because of the clear connection between drinking while driving and accidents on the road, it’s illegal to drive in forty-nine states and Puerto Rico with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. Utah is the only exception to this rule. The state lowered the BAC limit from 0.08 to 0.05 in 2018. When you get behind the wheel after drinking, you risk your life and the lives of others on the road. In 2018, NHTSA adds, 1878 people died in alcohol-related car crashes where the driver had blood alcohol concentrations between 0.01 and 0.07.

3. At night, the number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes more than triples.

In 2017, researchers found that 9% of drivers involved in fatal daytime crashes were intoxicated. But at night, that number of drunk drivers rose to 32%. The study also found that alcohol-related traffic deaths on the weekend were double the number that occurred during the week.

4.  More 26-to-29-year olds drive drunk than any other age group.

MADD cites a statistic stating that the rate of drunk driving is the highest among this group. And since 20.7% of drunk drivers are ages 26 to 29, that comes to one in every five drunk drivers.

5.  Drunk drivers were involved in 1 out of 4 fatal traffic accidents in 2016.

According to a fact sheet on motor vehicle safety created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than one-fourth of fatal traffic accidents in the US involved drunk drivers in 2016. During that year, 10,497 people died in what the CDC refers to as alcohol-impaired driving crashes. These incidents made up 28% of all US traffic-related deaths in 2016.

6. You can’t sober up by drinking coffee.

This last fact contradicts one of the biggest myths about drinking and driving that’s out there. When you consume alcohol, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream through the walls of your stomach, raising your BAC and affecting your reaction time and alertness. Drinking coffee doesn’t reverse that process, so it doesn’t sober you up.  The only way thing that cures drunkenness is time.

Final words on drinking and driving

Regardless of what your friends tell you, these are the facts about drinking and driving. So, when you hear it’s safe to drive even after one or two drinks, don’t cave into the pressure. If you decide to drive anyway, you’re endangering your own life, the lives of those in your vehicle, and others on the road.

Draeger Interlock is a leading manufacturer and service provider of ignition interlock devices. If you are arrested for driving under the influence and are required to have an IID installed in your vehicle, contact us to get you back on the road. To learn more about drinking and driving statistics, download our free infographic here.

 

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.