A study just released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that the rates of both drunk and drugged driving declined over the past year. While this is a good sign for reducing drunk driving accidents, in 2009, there were approximately 30 million drunk drivers in the US, and another 10 million driving in a drugged state. Therefore, there continues to be a significant risk of persons being killed and injured in drunk driving accidents.
The study has been released just in time for the holiday season, when more numbers of intoxicated motorists can be expected on Georgia’s streets. It only proves to Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers that even though we have made much progress in reducing the numbers of intoxicated motorists on the road, especially hard-core drinkers who are responsible for so many accidents every year, there is much more that needs to be done.
The survey included more than 200,000 people, and found that overall, approximately 3o million Americans aged 16 and above drove drunk over the past year. That is based on an aggregate of the drunk driver rates between 2006 and 2009. That works out to about 13 .2% of the population.
The good news is that the 13.2% rate is a drop from the 14.6% drunk driver rate between 2002 and 2006. The bad news from the study is that most drunk and drugged drivers in the self-reported survey were young drivers between 16 and 25 years of age. Approximately 19.5% of these drivers admitted to driving drunk, and 11.8% admitted to driving under the influence of illegal drugs.
Last year, Georgia had between 10.5% and 12.5% drunk drivers, and between 3.8% and 4.2% drugged drivers on the road. As far as drugged driving goes, law enforcement in Georgia probably needs to take some tips from our neighbors, including Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, who have some of the lowest drugged driver rates in the country. Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama have some of the lowest drunk driver rates in the country.