The number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities rose in Virginia and Maryland in 2006, but fell in D.C., according to new data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The numbers were made public as part of a press briefing co-sponsored by NHTSA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.), where the organizations announced an $11 million nationwide Labor Day campaign for 2007 called “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”
The Labor Day crackdown has become an annual event, and the message is consistent from year to year: drunk driving enforcement will be heightened during the Labor Day holiday, and drunk drivers will be vigorously prosecuted. M.A.D.D. cites the following statistics regarding drunk driving in the U.S. as justification for continued vigilance in removing drunk drivers from the nation’s roadways:
- “Alcohol-impaired driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the U.S.
- Nearly 17,000 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes In 2004.
- In 2004, 12,874 people were killed in crashes where the driver had a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher.
- In 2001, more than half a million people were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present—an average of one person injured approximately every minute.
- An estimated three of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash at some time in their lives.
- Research shows that alcohol-related crashes cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion annually—this includes an estimated $63.2 billion lost in quality of life due to these crashes.
- The societal costs of alcohol-related crashes average $1.00 per drink consumed. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.60 per drink.
- Approximately 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2003 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 135 licensed drivers in the United States.”
Previously on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Laws requiring immediate license suspension for DUI save lives
- Ignition locks may foil DUI repeat-offenders
- St. Patrick’s Day produces more drunk drivers than New Year’s
- 2006 MADD / NHTSA Labor Day drunk driving crackdown
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