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The drop in drunk driving rates

Drivers in California and across the country may be pleased to know that the drunk driving rate fell to its lowest point in 13 years in 2014. This is according to federal statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The survey has been conducted since 2002 using the same methodology and is used as a measurement of drunk and drugged driving trends over time.

Of the respondents to the survey who were 16 years of age or older in 2014, 11.1 percent admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol at some point in the previous year. In addition, 4.1 percent stated that they operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of one or more illegal drugs, and 2.4 percent stated that they drove while under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. In comparison, the numbers reported in 2002 were 15.3, 5 and 3.3 percent, respectively. Because the numbers are self-reported, they may not be exact as those individuals who participated may have varying thresholds for what they may consider is impairment or may be hesitant to admit to breaking the law.

Although the numbers indicate the problem of drunk driving seems to be improving, experts warn that there is still a lot of work left to be done. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, there were 10,265 deaths that resulted from vehicle crashes caused by drivers who were impaired, an increase over the prior year.

Drunk driving charges have to be taken seriously, as the penalties if a conviction is obtained can be severe. This is why people who are facing these allegations may want to seek out legal counsel when attempting to refute them.

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