Young drivers appear receptive to anti-drunk driving messages

For decades, Connecticut residents have been exposed to advertisements, billboards and public service campaigns warning of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. Additionally, most school-aged children are required to complete some sort of anti-drunk driving education as part of the public education curriculum. Now, based upon the results of a recent national survey, there’s proof that all of these efforts to curb drunk driving may actually be paying off.

Based on the responses of some 380,000 respondents to the government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, researchers report that, from 2002 to 2014, there was a 59 percent drop in the number of drivers age 16 to who admit to drinking and driving. Additionally there was a 38 percent decrease in the number of respondents ages 21 to 25 who say they drink and drive.

Researchers largely credit the drop in the number of young drivers who are drinking and driving to increased prevention and enforcement efforts. However, despite these encouraging statistics, roughly 20 percent of drivers age 21 to 25 still admit to drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, proving that additional and alternative measures should be implemented.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, during 2011 and 2012 alone a total of 179 people died throughout the state in alcohol-related traffic accidents. In Connecticut, law enforcement officials are allowed to operate sobriety checkpoints. Criminal penalties related to drunk driving convictions have also been instituted including mandatory driver’s license suspensions and stricter policies with regard to the use of ignition interlock devices.

Drunk driving traffic accidents are 100 percent preventable and drivers who choose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking should be held both criminally and civilly responsible for their actions. An attorney who handles personal injury cases can assist drunk driving accident victims in their fight to recover compensation.

Source: The New York Times, “Fewer Young People Are Drinking and Driving, Study Says,” Mike McPhate, Dec. 11, 2015

Connecticut General Assembly, “CONNECTICUT DUI LAW,” July 17, 2012

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