Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Rate Resistant To Further Improvement

The percentage of crash fatalities that are alcohol-related dropped substantially from 1982 — when it was 53% of fatal crashes — to 34% of fatal crashes in 1997. Since 1997, the alcohol-related crash fatality rate has remained in the 33% to 35% range. The factors that led to the substantial decrease in alcohol-related crash fatalities include stiffer drunk driving laws; a higher minimum drinking age; “zero tolerance” laws for drivers under the age of 21; a decreasing proportion of the population falling in the higher risk 18 – 34 age group; an increase in the proportion of female drivers and an increase in the percentage of total miles driven by female drivers (female drivers are much less likely to drink and drive); and a small general reduction of per capita alcohol consumption. Since 1997, however, further improvement in these statistics has stalled. Given the huge tragic toll drunk drivers still inflict on our society, new strategies and new technologies need to be enlisted to achieve another sustained decrease in drunk driving deaths. One promising possibility for prior offenders is the alcohol monitoring bracelet which continuously reads and reports on any alcohol use. As Lindsay Lohan discovered with her bracelet, it is hard to argue with a judge who has hourly readings of your alcohol consumption.

Source: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810942.pdf