We hear it time and time again - drink and drive and you will get caught. As it turns out, people might be listening to that message. Rates of drunken driving reached a new national low as of 2014, according to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Just 11.1 percent of drivers admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in 2014, the most recent year for which there is data. This number is down from 15.3 percent when the survey began in 2002. The study relies on self-reported data so the number could be higher than that. Surveyors admit that people may have differing perceptions of what "intoxication" feels like to them and others may be wary to self-report.
Who is most likely to drink and drive?
With 214 million licensed drivers on the road, this means more than 23 million drove under the influence of alcohol at some point in 2014. Meanwhile, 1.1 million people are arrested for driving under the influence annually, according to SAMHSA.
Young men between the ages of 21 and 25 have the highest rates of impaired driving. Nearly one in seven drive under the influence of drugs and one in twelve drive under the influence of alcohol and another drug simultaneously.
However, young adults have also seen the largest reduction in drunken driving rates since 2002. No one single factor that has contributed to the decline, but two possible factors could include better driver's training courses and the availability of more ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
What if I'm arrested for OUI/DUI?
If you are a young person arrested for drunken driving, it is crucial that you understand how to handle your case. Individuals who are caught for driving under the influence are not menaces to society as the media might portray Instead, as the survey points out, they may misjudge their level of intoxication and make a mistake in driving. Those who are charged with DUI or OUI are often fearful and have questions about moving past their case.
Rates of drunken driving are down, but DUI defense attorneys have not let down their guard for you and your right to due process.