Think Before Taking the Wheel This Holiday Season

December 1, 2011 by Molly Huff

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.  According to shocking statistics, more than 17,000 Americans die each year in drunk and drugged driving accidents. Affinity wants to take this opportunity to increase community awareness of this problem and shed some light on ways to promote safer streets.

Each year, more than 1.5 million people are arrested in the United States for driving drunk and at least that many are estimated to have driven under the influence of drugs.  Drunk and drugged driving cause tens of thousands of accidents each year, and it's estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that impaired driving will affect one in three Americans during their lifetimes.

Here are some sobering statistics from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving:

  • 41% of all traffic crashes are alcohol-related
  • Nearly 600,000 American are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes each year
  • Someone dies in an alcohol-related traffic crash every 30 minutes.  Every two minutes someone is hurt in an alcohol-related accident
  • Three out of every 10 Americans face the possibility of being directly involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash during their lifetime

What do you need to know to keep yourself and others safe when it comes to drinking and driving?  Let's start with "how much is too much."  Legally, if your blood alcohol count (BAC) is .08 or above, you are considered to be driving under the influence.  For a 140 lb. adult, a .08 BAC is the equivalent of 2-3 standard alcoholic drinks.  The number of drinks you've consumed is a poor measure of BAC, however, because of the variations in body mass, weight, height and other factors.  The best rule of thumb to follow when deciding if you've had too much to drive is to play it safe.  If you have had anything alcoholic to drink whatsoever or are taking any medication that may affect your ability to drive, don't roll the dice.  Call a cab or ask a friend to drive you.

Affinity wants you to have a safe and happy holiday season - don't drive under the influence!