DWI’s, How big is the problem?
by Nick Guli
November 22, 2019
In the USA, nearly 30 people every day are killed due to a driver who is under the influence of alcohol, approximately one an hour. The combined cost of all alcohol-related crashes is a staggering 45 billion dollars. This is a severe problem that needs to be addressed.
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In 2016, nearly 11 000 people died from crashes caused by alcohol, this is over 25% of motor deaths. What’s worse is that 1300 of these deaths were children ages 0-15. In the same year, over 1 million drivers were caught by police driving after taking drugs or drinking.
Are DWI related crashes going down?
Luckily, the number of arrests made each year since 2016, where people were caught driving under the influence, has gone down. Deaths caused by drink driving have also lowered significantly since the last 1970s. With a drop from 9% to 3.2%. This shows that the attitude towards drink driving is heading in the right direction.
DWI decrease thanks to uber
An unusual hero in the fight against DWI’s is the rideshare giant Uber. Since Uber introduced its low-cost tax service UberX in 2012, the number of DWI’s has decreased by 7%. Uber has taken advantage of this statistic and are happy to receive credit for this, and so they should. Studies conducted by Uber and the Mothers Against Drink Driving show that 80% of users of UberX admitted they are less likely to drink-drive thanks to Uber.
Shockingly, another statistic came from that same study. 57% of users answering questions in the study said that if UberX were not operating, they would consider drink driving.
Ridesharing services have definitely monopolized the transport industry. It is great to see that monopolization like this can have a positive effect on things like driving under the influence crime.
What states have the highest DWI cases
DWI crime varies pretty wildly across states, showing that different attitudes by state governments really do have an effect on these types of crime. The top 5 worst states for DWIs are, ranking 1-5, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and South Carolina.
The five states with the lowest number of DWIs are New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, and Utah.
Current DWI law
The law currently states that anyone who has an alcohol level of 0.8 or higher is automatically classed as a drunk driver. Breathalyzers have come a long way since their invention and are much more accurate at reading blood alcohol levels. This means that people have to seriously think about how much they have drunk before getting into a car. Across the USA, laws are becoming tighter, and punishment more severe in order to deter drink driving. Steps are being made in the right direction, but there is still a way to go in order to eradicate drink driving altogether.