As the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Labor Day Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. Campaign continues (the DUI crackdown began on August 20 nationwide and will last until September 6), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new data on August 25 revealing that one in five U.S. drivers has admitted to drinking and driving. This data indicates that 8% of all motorists, which amounts to approximately 17 million individuals, have operated a vehicle while drunk at least once during the past year. Considering that the Governors Highway Safety Association notes that 12,000 people nationwide were killed in accidents in 2008 involving drivers or motorcyclists with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, the need for emphasizing the consequences of drunk driving to the public cannot be stressed enough.
The NHTSA drunk driving survey shows that an estimated one in five U.S. drivers have driven within two hours of consuming alcohol within the past year. Even so, four out of five Americans consider drunk driving a “major threat” to their own personal safety as well as to that of their families. The study also revealed a significant trend of drinking and driving among young motorists, especially in young males.