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Numbers and trends for drunk driving

The U.S. Department of Transportation records statistics regarding drunk driving accidents, both as they pertain to the drivers themselves and to pedestrians, and examining the numbers can expose some of the greater trends over the years. While these are national numbers and trends, similar stats can be expected in Colorado.

First of all, about 1.5 people are killed in accidents that involve the use of alcohol every hour -- this is more commonly reported as three deaths for every two hours, just to retain the whole numbers.

Even when ignoring accidents and fatalities, alcohol use is common behind the wheel. In fact, it's thought that there were about 112 million driving episodes in 2010 in which the drivers were impaired by alcohol. This stems from reports that adults made saying they'd driven while impaired during the year; about four million people made this admission.

Interestingly, men are far more likely to drive drunk than women. When looking at the 112 million incidents, it was found that only 19 percent of the people were women, while the remaining total -- a staggering 81 percent -- were men.

The total number of drunk driving deaths for 2010 was 13,365. However, despite that high total, the trend does seem to be in the downward direction. In 1990, around 50.6 percent of deadly accidents were linked to alcohol. Almost 20 years later, in 2009, that number had fallen to 42 percent.

As this illustrates, drunk driving is very common, even among those who are never caught. If you are facing charges, though, make sure you know what legal options you have.

Source: Department of Transportation, "Drunk Driving by the Numbers," Matthew Chambers, Mindy Liu, and Chip Moore, accessed May. 08, 2015

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