WASHINGTON, D.C. — A newly released federal study indicates that 8 percent of all drivers, as many as 17 million people, have driven drunk at least once during the past year.
The research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reveals that about one in five Americans have driven within two hours of drinking alcohol in the past year. Four out of five Americans identified drunken driving as a “major threat” to their own and their family’s safety.
The survey noted that those who reported that they drink and drive consumed alcohol more regularly than those who drink but choose not to drive afterward. More than one in four drinking drivers, 28 percent, consumed alcoholic beverages three or more days a week, compared to 10 percent of drivers who drink but do not drive afterward.
To view the survey, click here.
In related news, the U.S. Department of Transportation last week kicked off the annual “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” campaign aimed at getting intoxicated drivers off the road.
“Drunk driving is deadly, it’s against the law and, unfortunately, it’s still a problem,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “With the help of law enforcement around the country, we are going to continue doing all that we can to stop drunk driving and the needless tragedies that result from this reckless behavior.”
The law enforcement crackdown runs through Labor Day and involves thousands of police agencies across the nation. Enforcement efforts are supported by $13 million in television and radio advertising from NHTSA.
“Our message is loud and clear: If you drive drunk, you will be arrested and prosecuted,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said. “There will be no exceptions and no excuses.”