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The numbers behind drunk driving accidents

Although Michigan residents recognize that drunk driving can be dangerous, they may not always think about the numbers associated with this phenomenon. It is important for people to understand how these numbers change and what can be done to keep people from driving while impaired.

People may not always realize how deadly drunk driving accidents can be. MLive.com says that in 2014, a drunk driver was part of 36 percent of the fatal accidents which occurred. Additionally, people are more likely to be hurt if they are in involved in a collision with a drunk driver. People may not always associate a particular gender with drunk driving but in 2014, only 9,224 women were arrested for driving while impaired, while men made up 75 percent of these arrests.

While some people may think that the number of people who drive drunk would be consistent from year to year, this is actually not the case. Over a 10 year period, crashes involving alcohol in which people were injured decreased 30 percent, while the number of fatal accidents involving a drunk driver experienced a 19 percent decline. In 2014, 35,060 people were arrested for drunk driving. While this number may seem high, it is important to remember that in 2014, the number of licensed drivers in Michigan was just over 7.1 million. This means that 0.5 percent of drivers were involved in these incidents. 

Some people may wonder how people can be kept from driving when they are intoxicated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sometimes something as simple as a mass media campaign can help people understand how dangerous it is to drink and drive. Additionally, zero tolerance laws can help keep young people from driving drunk. People under 21 are the targets of these laws and they are not legally allowed to drive if they have had any alcohol to drink, even if their BAC level is less than 0.08 percent.

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