Don't Drink and Drive

Drunk driving has decreased but not enough

(RxWiki News) How often do you see commercials on television or road signs that warn against drunk driving? More awareness is being spread because drunk driving causes many unnecessary injuries and deaths.

Driving while intoxicated is a terrible decision. Yet, people continue to do so. There have been 112 million cases in 2010 where people are getting behind the wheel after they had too many drinks. Even though there has been a significant decrease in drunk drivers, it still is a serious problem - every one out of three car crashes is due to a drunk driver.

"Assign a designated driver for the night or call a cab."

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 81 percent of cases of drunk driving in 2010 were caused by men and 85 percent of those men also reported binge drinking. Binge drinking is considered five or more drinks in a short amount of time for men and four or more drinks for women.

Most of the cases are caused by under-age men, 18 to 20, but theirs is not a huge difference between all other age groups.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is legally set at 0.08 percent. However, this amount of alcohol in the body has negative side effects like trouble controlling speed and difficulty processing information and reasoning. BAC can get to 0.08 percent with only four beers. Even a BAC level of 0.05 percent causes slower coordination and inability to track moving objects - so driving a car should be out of the question!

States need to step it and enforce the BAC concentration level and minimum legal age to drink. States can also set up more sobriety checkpoints so people know that the states are getting serious about minimizing this problem. Employers and health professionals can spread awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, but the most important thing anyone can do is simply choose not to drive while intoxicated.

The researchers used data from the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, U.S., in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Review Date: 
October 4, 2011