Study Shows Large Decrease in Drunk Driving Incidents

By Mike

A recent poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a remarkable decline in self-reported incidents of drunk driving.

According to an article from the Associated Press, episodes of drunk driving are at their lowest numbers since 1993, and have fallen more than 30 percent in the last five years.

Experts suggest that the decreasing frequency of drunk driving incidents may not be a result of a collective desire to drive more safely.

Instead, some observers speculate that the struggling economy has led many people to stay at home and drink for cheap, rather than paying premium prices at a bar. With more people staying away from bars, there are fewer drinkers driving home.

The CDC statistics, which were compiled by surveying more than 200,000 Americans on the phone, showed that roughly two percent of all Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in the previous month.

While the two percent seems like a low figure, it still represents about four million drunk drivers on the roads in any given month.

Of this two percent, roughly 60 percent admitted to driving drunk just once in the last month, but a healthy percentage of respondents claimed to have driven drunk multiple times in the last few weeks.

By expanding these monthly figures to an annual estimate, the CDC guessed that there were 112 million individual episodes of drunk driving in 2010.

In other words, there are roughly 300,000 people who are driving under the influence of alcohol on a typical day in the United States.

While these numbers seem discouraging, they represent a significant decrease from past numbers. Take, for example, 1993, when more than 160 million people admitted to driving drunk during that calendar year.

Of course, while overall drunk driving figures are down, some populations remain more apt to drive drunk than others.

According to the poll, men between the ages of 21 and 34 were more likely than any other demographic to drive drunk.

While men between 21 and 34 only account for 11 percent of the country’s population, they are responsible for 32 percent of all drunk driving incidents.

Of course, not every drunk driver is arrested for a DUI. In fact, only a small percentage of drunk drivers will ever be arrested for their actions.

Nevertheless, the relatively low odds of being arrested for a DUI should not prevent people from finding designated drivers, or simply taking a cab.

Drunk driving still causes tens of thousands of traffic fatalities each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accidents still claim an American’s life every 48 minutes.

So, while drunk driving is becoming less popular, it remains a serious concern for innocent people on American roads.



Celebrity DUI Arrests of Last 5 Years

By Topher

From 2006-2010 Hollywood’s brightest stars also found themselves shining under the lights of the police. This interactive timeline looks at the actors, actresses, musicians and celebrities who were arrested for drunk driving.

What kind of charges were these stars facing? It depends whether the DUI is a misdemeanor or felony. It may also depend on the laws in the state where they were arrested. For example, stars if “Lost” arrested on location in Hawaii may face different charges than Paris Hilton arrested in California.

Other celebrities facing DUI charges include Mel Gibson, Mike Tyson, Keifer Sutherland and Shia LaBeouf.


Shining Some Light on Celebrity DUIs: 2006-2010

Timeline of DUI Mugshots

  • Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious): Dec. 1, 2005. 2nd DUI. 5 days in jail. $500 in fines.
  • Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense): Jul. 20, 2006. 0.16 B.A.C. 3 years probation. $1,500 in fines. Other drugs involved.
  • Mel Gibson (Passion of the Christ): Jul. 28, 2006. 0.12 B.A.C. 3 years probation. $1,300 in fines. Expunged in ’09.
  • Paris Hilton (Reality TV): Sep. 6, 2006. 0.08 B.A.C. 3 years probation. $1,500 in fines.
  • Nicole Richie (Reality TV): Dec. 11, 2006. 96 hours in jail.
  • Mike Tyson (Boxer): Dec. 29, 2006. 24 hours in jail. 3 years probation.
  • Khloe Kardashian (Reality TV): Mar. 4, 2007. 30 days in jail.
  • Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls): May 31 and Jul. 24, 2007. 96 hours in jail. 180 days electronic monitoring. Other drugs involved.
  • Nick Bollea (son on Hulk Hogan): Aug. 26, 2007. 0.20 B.A.C. 8 months in jail. 5 years probation.
  • Keifer Sutherland (24): Sep. 25, 2007. 4th DUI. 48 days in jail. 5 years probation.
  • Daniel Dae Kim (Lost): Oct. 25, 2007. 0.168 B.A.C. $712 in fines.
  • Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots): Nov. 21, 2007. 192 hours in jail. $2,000 in fines.
  • Mischa Barton (The O.C.): Dec. 27, 2007. 0.12 B.A.C. 3 years probation.
  • Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi): Mar. 25, 2008. 3 years probation.
  • Carmelo Anthony (NBA player): Apr. 14, 2008. 0.148 B.A.C. $1,049 in fines.
  • Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express): Jun. 29, 2008. 2nd DUI. 3 years probation.
  • Shia LaBeouf (Transformers): Jul. 27, 2008. 1 year suspended license.
  • Heather Locklear (Spin City): Sep. 28, 2008. 3 years probation. $700 in fines.
  • Charles Barkley (Former NBA player): Dec. 31, 2008. 0.149 B.A.C. 10 days in jail.
  • Stephanie Pratt (Reality TV): Oct. 18, 2009. 0.09 B.A.C. 3 years probation.
  • Chris Klein (American Pie): Jun 16, 2010. 2nd DUI. 0.20 B.A.C. $1,800 in fines.

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