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Part II: The bad news about drunk driving in San Diego

In our last post, we told you about the recent study that revealed that a declining number of people are dying in drunk driving crashes in areas — like San Diego — that have Uber and other ride-sharing services available.

Unfortunately, not all of the recent news about drunk driving trends is as positive. According to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a very large number of people continue to drive after consuming alcohol in the United States.

In all, the researchers found that over 4 million adult drivers across the country admitted to getting behind the wheel when they were drunk at least one time during the last month. Given those statistics, approximately 121 million instances of drunk driving occur in the United States in one year. 

Not surprisingly, the demographic most likely to get behind the wheel after drinking was men between the ages of 21 and 35 — that group was responsible for about 33 percent of all drunk driving incidents. In addition, men are far more likely to drive while intoxicated than women, according to the researchers. In total, men accounted for about 80 percent of all drunk drivers in the country.

The researchers also concluded that binge drinkers are responsible for a significant number of all drunk driving accidents each year. In all, approximately 4 percent of American adults are considered binge drinkers. A binge drinker is defined as:

  • A man who has five or more drinks at one time, or
  • A woman who has four or more drinks at one time

While the percentage of Americans who engage in binge drinking is relatively small, the consequences when they get behind the wheel are disastrous. According to the study, binge drinkers are responsible for about 66 percent of all drunk driving crashes.

When out with friends, it is a good idea to stick to the trend discussed in our last post: call a ride-share service, like Uber, or find a sober friend to drive you home. Making the decision not to drive after drinking could save your life.

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