15% of American Adult Drivers Admit to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

A recent government report showed that 15% of adult drivers 18 and older nationwide admit to driving under the influence of alcohol in the previous year. That’s just the national average. In some states, the statistic is 1 in 4 people driving under the influence.

The report is based on the combined data from the 2004 to 2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and provides state-level estimates for the pervasiveness of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of illicit drugs.

Utah, not surprisingly, was the lowest ranking state at 9.5% driving under the influence, while Wisconsin ranked first with a whopping 26.4% driving under the influence. Here in Maine, where highway signs boast tough drunk driving laws, 12.4% reported driving under the influence.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were almost 16,700 deaths in 2004 caused by accidents related to driving under the influence of alcohol. Just recently in Maine, a woman driving the wrong way on the highway killed a 15 year old boy and the driver of a limo in a head-on collision, despite a state trooper trying to stop her. Alcohol is thought to be a factor in the fatal accident.

Anytime a person receives an OUI (operating Under the Influence) in the state of Maine, the individual enters into the Driver Education and Evaluation Programs (DEEP). DEEP is administered by the Office of Substance Abuse, Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the program is to provide effective, efficient and meaningful interventions for impaired drivers according to Maine law so that public safety is maintained. Crossroads for Women is DEEP certified to provide evaluation and treatment for women of all ages who receive an OUI. For more information, call 207.773.9931 or visit www.crossroadsforwomen.org/deep.php. Or, read DEEP FAQs.

Or, better yet, don’t pick up the keys when you’ve had too much to drink.

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From SAMHSA: New Nationwide Report Estimates that Roughly a Quarter of All Drivers in Some States Drove Under the Influence of Alcohol in the Past Year

From the AP: Study: Midwest has the worst drunken driving rate

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