Graph Of Drunk Driving Deaths
All the states in the US currently apply two legal offenses to driving under the influence of alcohol. The first is known as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated/impaired (OWI).
The evidence for this offense is based upon a police officer's observations like how the driver was driving, slurring of speech, sobriety test conducted on the spot etc.
The second is termed "illegal per se". This is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.08 percent. Since 2002, the cut-off limit of BAC has been made to 0.08 percent. This is the maximum limit of blood alcohol level that is permissible by law and all the 50 states follow this limit.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines an alcohol-related crash to be one where at least one driver or non-occupant like a pedestrian or pedal cyclist involved in the crash has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 gram per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Hence, any fatality that occurs due to these types of accidents is classified as alcohol-related fatalities. Even if a sober driver kills a drunk pedestrian, it is classified an alcohol-related crash.
Graphs of drunk driving deaths show that annually approximately 37 percent people die either because of driving under the influence of alcohol or being killed by a drunk driver. With harsher penalties and widespread awareness of driving under the influence of alcohol, this figure, as a percentage, has significantly reduced. In 1960, the incidence of drunk driving related deaths used to be 60 percent of total road accident fatalities. Today, on average, in the US, one person is killed by a drunk driver every 39 minutes.
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