It is fair to say that when people hear or read the phrase, “Don’t drink and drive,” they think, “Don’t drink, then drive.” That’s how many of the public service announcements are geared. There are indications, however, that drinking while driving is increasing disproportionately in the state of Washington.
There is no provable statistic that tells us how many drivers in Washington drive while under the influence of alcohol as a habit. Nor are there any that tell how many are drinking and driving at the same time. The only evidence that we have is the trail of death and debris they leave.
State and National Statistics
- Nationwide, high-level blood alcohol (0.15+) was cited as a contributing factor in 58 percent of all alcohol-related deaths on America’s highways.
- Blood alcohol above the legal limit (0.08) was cited as the cause of 29 percent of all U.S. highway traffic deaths.
- In 2015 alone, nearly 25,000 people were arrested in Washington on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- In both 2014 and 2015, Washington led neighboring states and the U.S. in the percentage of adults who reported that they had been drinking and driving within a 30-day period.
- In 2015 alone, some 3,500 citizens of Washington sought professional help to recover from alcohol addiction.
- An additional 8,000+ sought treatment for a combination of alcohol and other addictions.
- In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control reported that Washington has more drinking drivers than any other state.
The Most Significant Statistics
The most significant statistics are the total number of people who have died because of someone who had been drinking, whether themselves or another driver.
- In 2015, 147 people died on Washington highways in drinking and driving accidents, leaving many more grieving parents, partners, siblings, children, and friends. This was a six-year high for the state.
- An additional 1,921 people died in the period from 2003 to 2012.
The most significant statistic is that anyone has had to die at any time as a result of drinking and driving.
Despite the Public Service Announcements, the DUI checkpoints, and arrests, lives are being snuffed out prematurely due to drinking and driving. You can watch out for the other guy, but you need to watch out for yourself first. You need to recognize that you have a personal problem if you refuse to measure the “cost” of a drink compared to the potential loss of human life. Those drinks that gave you a buzz may give you or someone else an early burial.
If you cannot say no to drinking and driving, please realize that you have a problem and that you need help. If you are reading this, know that we are willing to help you. Let us assure you that if you know you need help and you are willing to seek it, we are willing and able to help you break the habit that might otherwise cost you or someone else their life someday. Take the first step. Save a life. Contact us now.