New Year’s Eve is a particularly dangerous day to be on the roads. Alcohol consumption is part of the New Year celebration for many which increases the chances of drunk and distracted driving.
Based on the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately a third of all traffic crash deaths in the country involve drunk drivers. In all 50 states and Puerto Rico, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. However, these laws do not stop drunk drivers. On average from 2006-2016, more than 10,000 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes.
To increase awareness on drunk driving, every president of the United States has proclaimed December as National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in recent years since 1981.
Consequences of driving intoxicated
Driving a vehicle while intoxicated is a dangerous and illegal. If you are pulled over for driving impaired, charges range from misdemeanors to felony offenses, and penalties for impaired driving can include driver’s license revocation, fines, and jail time. In Illinois, a first-time offender expect the cost of a DUI to be more than $2,000 with fines, court costs and attorney fees.
Driving drunk will also classify peoples as high-risk drivers. High risk drivers may be required to carry an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility for a certain amount of years to keep their license in good standing.
Economic Cost for All Car Crashes
The estimated economic cost of all car crashes in the United States based on the latest available data was $242 billion, of which $44 billion resulted from alcohol-impaired crashes (involving alcohol-impaired drivers or alcohol-impaired non-occupants).
Included in the economic costs are:
- Legal costs
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Emergency services
- Property damage