In the United States in 2008, 9% of drivers admitted to driving while over the legal limit in the past month. Drunk driving is still very common. That’s a very high number. Why is it so high? I think there are a variety of reasons.
The first reason is that I think people aren’t prepared to sacrifice a good time in favor of safety. If there is no easy and cheap public transportation, taxi, or other transportation service, people will drive rather than go through an inconvenient and lengthy process of getting a ride after a night at the bar. In a lot of cities, public transportation feels dangerous at night. Walking at night is dangerous in a lot of places as well, especially for women. I think having a cheap, reliable and safe public transportation system will help any city combat drunk driving.
Another problem is people misunderstand the affects of alcohol on their system. They feel that since they have a tolerance, they can drive just as well drunk as sober. This is not the case. Reaction times are still decreased, making accidents easier and driving more dangerous. Education is needed in this area to help people understand why driving while intoxicated is not OK.
A certain segment of the population will always drink and drive, because they feel entitled to it. So there may be a point where the number cannot be lowered any further. But I think that number can go down a great deal from 9%.
Here is the source for the story: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-04-28-DUI_N.htm
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Thanks for reading!