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Drunk Drive Crackdown

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Local and state law enforcement agencies are teaming up to keep impaired drivers off the road this holiday season.

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Transportation, there will be more officers out there patrolling the highways looking for vehicles whose drivers appear to be under the influence.

"We have increased enforcement out there during the holiday season," said Capt. Randy Hillman, Marathon County Sheriff's Department, "actually our increased enforcement started December 19th and will run through January 4th."

Combined with the ad campaigns that make the public aware of the extra efforts, Hillman says the additional patrols do help reduce the number of drunk drivers.

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Drunk Driving Statistics

  • Traffic fatalities in alcohol-related crashes rose by four percent from 1999 to
    2000.

  • The 16,653 alcohol-related fatalities in 2000 (40 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year) represent a 25 percent reduction from the 22,084 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1990 (50 percent of the total).

  • NHTSA estimates that alcohol was involved in 40 percent of fatal crashes and in eight percent of all crashes in 2000.

  • The 16,653 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2000 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 32 minutes.

  • An estimated 310,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present, an average of one person injured approximately every two minutes.

  • Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 1999 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

  • This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 121 licensed drivers in the United States.

  • About 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.

  • In 2000, 31 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of 0.10 g/dl or greater. Sixty-nine percent of the 12,892 people killed in such crashes were themselves intoxicated. The remaining 31 percent were passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated nonoccupants.

Source: www.nhtsa.dot.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site) contributed to this report.


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