Every day, approximately 30 people are killed by a drunk driver in this country. That translates into somewhere around 11,000 people killed every year by a drunk driver. That’s almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths in this country. If you drink and drive, you could be this country’s next murderer. Let that sink in before you get behind the wheel after one too many.

Sadder still, of over 1,000 children under the age of 14 who are killed in a traffic accident each year, approximately 20% involve a drunk driver and over half of those children were riding in the car with the drunk driver. That’s over 500 children each year who are killed when an irresponsible adult decides it’s okay drive impaired with a child in the car.

According to the CDC, there are hundreds of millions of driving under the influence episodes. When that is considered, only a very tiny percentage of drunk drivers ever cause a traffic-related death. And that is the kind of thinking that convinces someone who shouldn’t be driving to do so anyway: “I’m okay to drive; I only had three glasses of wine.” “I’ve left this bar many times and I can drive home just fine.” “What’s the chance I’ll get caught; I can drive without weaving.” Think about the 11,000 mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters who leave behind a grieving family every year; are they just a very small statistic?

Not surprisingly, 30% of all drunk drivers who cause fatal crashes are between the ages of 21 and 24. Indeed, the vast majority of all fatal drunk driving crashes are caused by a drunk driver under the age of 44 (83%). Males between the ages of 21 and 34 account for 32% of all driving under the influence episodes even though they only account for approximately 10% of the population as a whole.

Perhaps the saddest statistic of all is that drunk drivers who cause a fatal crash are seven times more likely to have had a prior driving under the influence conviction. There are millions of repeat offenders and while we may sympathize with their addiction, we cannot excuse their decision to get behind the wheel drunk time after time. The repeat offender is most likely to ruin lives.

So where are the most people driving under the influence? San Diego has the dubious distinction of having the most DUI drivers per capita in the United States. In fact, California cities take four of the top ten spots for the most DUI’s per capita. Does this mean there are more drunk drivers in California, and in particular, these California cities, than elsewhere in the country? Maybe not. Some have argued that the statistics merely reflect the tough enforcement of driving under the influence laws in these cities. Just in case you are wondering, the top 10 cities for drunk driving violations, according to Insurance.com are:

1. San Diego, CA

2. San Jose, CA

3. Charlotte, N.C.

4. Phoenix, AZ

5. Columbus, Ohio

6. Indianapolis, Ind.

7. Los Angeles, CA

8. San Francisco, CA

9. Austin, TX

10. Jacksonville, FLA

Driving under the influence is like playing Russian Roulette but even worse because you could be playing for someone else’s life.

If you have been arrested for any driving under the influence offense or have any questions concerning a driving under the influence matter, please feel free to contact us at www.bill@williamweinberg.com or 949-474-8008.