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Drunk Driving Incidents Down, Is Bad Economy to “Blame”?

Johannes Simon, Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control reports incidents of drunk driving are down 30% in the last five years. In itself, that is fantastic news. Who can complain about safer roads and less deaths due to bad decisions? Researchers, however, feel the need to dive into the cause of this recent and significant drop.

Although there has been an ever-growing law enforcement presence on the roads in conjunction with a broad campaign to prevent drunk driving, some researchers are suggesting these aren’t the sole keys to the drop. Some suggest the current economic climate, which has been less than stellar for roughly the past five years, is more than just a coincidental piece to the puzzle.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC, says the drop could be because of where people drink.

One possibility is that people are drinking at home more and driving less after drinking.

The suggestion by Frieden is that due to the poor economy, people are drinking out far less and consuming more at home. This keeps people off the roads while they are intoxicated. Although a 30% drop is reason for optimism in the campaign against drunk driving, the CDC report reminds us that there are still more than 10,000 incidents of drunk driving deaths each year. Furthermore, although less people may be on the roads while intoxicated, other drinking-related health problems are still possible after effects of not being responsible in alcohol use.


Source: Associated Press, CDC

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