Recently, a Michigan DUI attorney from SMDA was getting ready for a jury trial on a Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offense. In preparation for trial, he was trying to find some statistics to share with the jury during his opening arguments. He stumbled upon the following information from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the State of Michigan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration websites which he thought was quite interesting and worth sharing with our readers.
- An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his first arrest.
- There is considerable evidence that laws that lower the illegal BAC limit from .10 to .08 can reduce alcohol-related fatalities by an average of 7%.
- Access to an unlimited amount of alcohol for a flat fee increases the number of drinks in a sitting by 1.6 drinks on average.
- From 1975 through 2005, it is estimated that safety belts saved 211,128 lives, including 15,632 lives saved in 2005. If all passenger vehicle occupants over age 4 wore safety belts, 20,960 lives (that is, an additional 5,328) could have been saved in 2005.
- A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 72-proof distilled spirits, all of which contain the same amount of alcohol - about .54 ounces.
- The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. Only time will sober a person up. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower will not help.
- The rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes is more than 3 times higher at night than during the day (59% vs. 18%). For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate is 5 times higher at night (16% vs. 3%).
- This year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes - one every 50 minutes.
- There is evidence that heavier drinkers prefer to drink at bars and other persons' homes, and at multiple locations requiring longer driver distances. Young drivers have been found to prefer drinking at private parties, while older, more educated drivers prefer bars and taverns.
- Among persons aged 12 or older, males were nearly twice as likely as females (16.3% vs. 8.6%) to drive under the influence of alcohol in the past year.
- One in three people will be involved in an alcohol related crash in their lifetime.
- Drunk driving costs each adult in this country almost $500 per year.
As always, think ahead before drinking and driving. If you have had too much to drink, make a plan to phone a taxi or have a designated driver with you. No matter how fine you think you are to drive, remember this belief by you is formed with alcohol already in your system. Do you always make the best decisions with alcohol in your system?
If you are arrested for drinking and driving, phone SMDA first. SMDA has experienced attorneys who know the law and are ready to protect your rights.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,Traffic Safety Facts 2008