- Be Responsible:
- Plan for a safe ride before the first drink or use of drugs.
- Designate a sober driver – someone who will not be drinking or using drugs during the event.
- Use a cab/public transportation.
- Stay where you are until you are sober or someone who is sober picks you up.
- Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.
- Hide keys – don’t be afraid to take someone’s keys to prevent them from leaving before they are sober.
- Report impaired driving – call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
- Choose to be sober.
Answer: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or legal and illegal drugs.
Examples: A couple of beers, prescription pain medication, marijuana, methamphetamine or a combination of the above listed items.
Effective measures include:
- Actively enforcing existing 0.08% BAC laws, minimum legal drinking age laws, and zero tolerance laws for drivers younger than 21 years old in all states.
- Requiring ignition interlocks for all offenders, including first-time offenders.
- Using sobriety checkpoints.
- Putting health promotion efforts into practice that influence economic, organizational, policy, and school/community action.
- Using community-based approaches to alcohol control and DWI prevention.
- Requiring mandatory substance abuse assessment and treatment, if needed, for DWI offenders.
- Raising the unit price of alcohol by increasing taxes.
- At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people.
- Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2016, nearly three in 10 were between 25 and 34 years of age (27%). The next two largest groups were ages 21 to 24 (26%) and 35 to 44 (22%).
- Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2016, 25% had BACs of 0.08% or greater.
- Motorcyclists ages 35-39 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of 0.08% or greater (38% in 2016).
Drivers with prior driving while impaired (DWI) convictions:
- Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were 4.5 times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system. (9% and 2%, respectively).
- In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Of the 1,233 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2016, 214 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- In 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That’s one percent of the 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year (figure below).
- Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.4
- Marijuana use is increasing and 13% of nighttime, weekend drivers have marijuana in their system.
- Marijuana users were about 25% more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use, however other factors–such as age and gender–may account for the increased crash risk among marijuana users.