In a bit of positive news, recent statistics have revealed national DUI rates have dropped to their lowest point in 13 years. The 2014 data was compiled through the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and was just recently made available to the public. Although there’s not one single factor contributing to the decline, the hope is that DUI incidents remain low.
What the Statistics Reflect
Although the survey is self-reporting, the methodology for collecting the DUI rates has remained the same. This adds validity to the statistics. In 2014, 11.1 percent of American drivers over the age of 16 admitted to driving impaired during the past year. In comparison, in 2002, when the survey first launched, 15.3 percent of drivers admitted to operating a vehicle while drunk.
Among these numbers, men between the ages of 21 and 25 had the highest DUI rates. Nearly one in five men within this age bracket admitted to driving drunk. However, this statistic doesn’t accurately reflect DUI rates among young adults. In fact, DUI incidents involving young adults between the ages of 21 and 25 has decreased by close to 10 percent.
Reason Behind the Decline
A number of factors have been linked to the declining rates including stricter drunk driving laws, public awareness campaigns, and ignition interlock systems that prevent operating a vehicle while impaired.
There have been conflicting reports on whether ride-sharing applications have affected nationwide DUI rates. In 2015, Uber partnered with MADD to demonstrate the reduction in DUI arrests and accidents in cities with access to ride-sharing services. Their study reported approximately 60 fewer DUI crashes each month in California, the application’s largest market. However, a 2016 study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found ride-sharing applications did not reduce the number of DUI crashes in metropolitan areas.
Despite these promising numbers, anyone can find themselves facing DUI charges. If this happens to you, immediately contact an experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights.