Every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. That's one person every 50 minutes in 2016. Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades, but drunk-driving crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44B per year.
In Georgia, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety launches Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over during high-travel holidays like July 4th, Labor Day and Christmas/New Year's (in addition to popular drinking occasions like the Super Bowl, St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo) to reinforce the message that we are a zero tolerance state. If you're over the limit, you'll be under arrest. In 2016 in Georgia, there were 368 traffic fatalities that involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. that's up from 258 in 2015 and 279 in 2014. Those 368 alcohol-involved fatalities account for 24 percent of Georgis's 1,554 total traffic fatalities in 2016.
Alcohol is a substance that reduces the function of the brain, impairing thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. All these abilities are essential to operating a vehicle safely. As alcohol levels rise in a person’s system, the negative effects on the central nervous system increase, too. Alcohol is absorbed directly through the walls of the stomach and small intestine. Then it passes into the bloodstream where it accumulates until it is metabolized by the liver. Alcohol level is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. At a BAC of .08, crash risk increases exponentially. Because of this risk, it’s illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. However, even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. In 2016, there were 2,017 people killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels (BACs of .01 to .07).
This is why Georgia participates in the national mobilizations of Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over every year in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). for more information on alcohol-impaired statistics, click HERE.