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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases Arrow to Alcoholism Alcoholism Arrow to Drunk Driving Drunk Driving

drunk driving accidentWhether you called it DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) or DUI (Driving Under the Influence), drunk driving remains a serious problem in the U.S. or anywhere a strong middle class car culture exists - think the entire industrialized world.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 17,013 people lost their lives in the U.S. in 2003 in alcohol-related collisions, representing 40 percent of all traffic fatalities.

The old myth that "the angels protect fools...and drunks" does not bear up under other recent studies. Research clearly shows that the risk of car crashes increases as a driver's blood alcohol level increases. In fact, drunk drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than a sober one.

As parents of teen drinkers and college students with drinking problems should be aware, alcohol is also responsible for more fatalities and injuries to 18-25 year-olds than any other drug combined.

What constitutes drunk driving?

In the United States, the legal limit can vary by state, but for all states as of 2011 it is 0.08% blood alcohol content as measured by a breathalyser. Depending on your height and weight, and how long it has been since your last drink, that percentage equals a couple of beers. (For a more exact estimate, see this BAC chart.)

On the Web, get more facts on drunk driving, find out what local communities are doing to educate drivers along with how to's on driving defensively, and lots more information on why every single injury and fatality caused by drunk driving remains totally preventable...

More about drunk driving around the Web:

Drinking & Driving - Comprehensive site from SUNY Potsdam featuring facts on the dangers of drunk driving, DUI/DWI information, how to drive defensively, tips on choosing a designated driver, related stats, links and resources.

Impaired Driving - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Information, facts and recent statistics on injury protection, driver performance, and alcohol-related crashes.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) - A huge repository of information on drunk driving with a special focus on underage teen and college drinking with stats, story articles, and details on their 24-hour live helpline, searchable database of local MADD chapters in the U.S.

DUI Foundation - Non-profit organization offering facts, information and DUI news including overviews of US state laws, fines and penalties, youth issues and underage drinking, related research and statistical studies.

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