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Sobriety Tests Reduce DUI Fatalities

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Efforts have been made to reduce drunk driving; however, the problem continues to surface with deadly outcomes.

Sobriety Tests Reduce DUI FatalitiesDriving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a huge problem that plagues our society. Statistics gathered by various organizations clearly indicate the seriousness and the severity of the problem, and even though efforts have been made to reduce DUI cases, the problem continues to surface with deadly outcomes.

 

DUI Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly a third of all automobile accident deaths are caused by drunk drivers.

  • Drunk driving causes one death every fifty minutes according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
  • It is estimated by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation that drunk drivers cost the country more than $132 billion on a yearly basis.
  • The lead physician of the University of Michigan Health System estimates that a drunk driver will make about 80 trips under the influence of alcohol before he or she is either caught by the police or is involved in an accident.

Learn more – 7 Things to Do if You Are Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident

Reducing Drunk Driving – Ignition Interlock Device

How can the number of DUI cases be reduced? Law enforcement and health professionals are looking for a proactive approach to curb this problem. Suggestions have been made to include sobriety tests as a mandatory component in all new cars. Ignition interlock devices are installed in a car to test the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The device uses an infrared beam that checks the breath or fingertips of the driver. These sobriety tests can check if the blood alcohol content is more than 0.08, and if it is, the car will not start. Experts estimate that installing such a device has the potential of reducing alcohol-related deaths by about 85 percent.

Ignition interlock devices are available only to DUI offenders. Installing existing devices or creating a new device for monitoring DUI cases and phasing out older cars that do not have the devices is estimated to take more than 15 years. The American Journal of Public Health estimates that these tests can help save about $340 billion in drunk driving injury-related costs. In addition, 59,000 fatalities and 1.25 million non-fatal injuries can be averted with sobriety screening systems.

 

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