Drinking and Driving

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Drunk driving can be very deadly. Yet many people drive while under the influence everyday. Drivers who are drunk are blamed for the loss of as many as twentyfive thousand lives in highway crashes each year and hundreds of thousands of severe injurys.

It is thought that drunk drivers have a long history of doing this and many prior arrests. In addition, most of those killed are just innocent victims whose behavior did not contribute to their deaths. These last two statements are both false. On average a drunk driver that kills has never been involved in a alcohol related accident before and have no prior convictions for drunk driving. The part about the people killed are just innocent bystanders is over-exaggerated also. Most of the drunk drivers victims are the drivers themselves, and often their passengers, but hardly ever the bystanders. It is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in North America today. In fact it is said that about 40 % of the population will be involved in a alcohol related crash during their life. Drunk driving is especially dangerous to young people, who seem to be more involved than others. Drunk driving is the number one cause of death among young people, accounting for 20% of all deaths from ages 15 to 20.

Alcohol-related traffic fatalities have been decreasing lately. As a proportion of all traffic fatalities it has been decreased since 1982. In fact since 1982 the number of alcohol releated traffic fatalities has decreased 30%, from 25,165 to 17,699, w hile alcohol-related traffic fatalitites, as a proportion of all traffic fatalities, decreased from 57% to 45%. This is a great achievment when you consider that the number of miles traveled has increased 40% since then. For the past 14 years the numbe r of alcohol-related traffic fatalities have been dropping steadily. With the help of a growing number of support groups and tougher pentalites the numbers should drop even more in the next few years to come.

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