In a recent survey, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that there were 112 million incidents of drunk driving in the United States in 2010. And, while this number is staggeringly high, it represents the CDC’s lowest estimated total of incidents of drunk driving in nearly 20 years, and a decline of nearly 30 percent of total drunk-driving incidents in the past five years.
Conducted by telephone in 2010, the CDC spoke with nearly 210,000 Americans and asked them about the number of times that they had driven drunk. Approximately 1 in 50 respondents reported that they had driven drunk at least once in the past 30 days, with a few stating that they had driven drunk nearly every day. And, approximately 60 percent of those surveyed said they had driven drunk just once last year. Based on the survey responses, the CDC estimates that approximately 4 million Americans
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also indicate that incidents of drunk driving may be declining. According to the NHTSA, there were 11,711 alcohol-related fatalities in 2008, but decreased to 10,839 in 2009.
Drunk-driving fatalities in Illinois, for example, are also declining. In 2009, there were over 900 drunk-driving incidents; down from over 1000 in 2008.
One potential reason for the decline is a bad economy. Tough times could be forcing many people to stay at home and thus driving drunk would not be problematic. While the numbers from the CDC and the NHTSA seem positive, unfortunately, it only takes one drunk driver to change the lives of innocent people. Those whose lives are dramatically altered by the actions of a drunk driver may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering as well as punitive damages from the driver.
Speaking with an auto accident attorney is recommended.