SYLACAUGA, Ala.- Warnings against drunk driving are everywhere. Signs flash “don’t drink and drive” rapidly up and down the interstate, television commercials preach against the act, and campaigns against driving under the influence can be found on social media.
Those warnings will be disregarded by many across the nation as warmer weather approaches and outdoor activities that normally involve drinking roll in with the change of the seasons.
People know it is wrong and not worth the risk, but the warnings of death and essentially murder, and common knowledge legal repercussions still are not enough to deter many from breaking the law, especially in the State of Alabama.
According to a study released by BackgroundChecks.org, Alabama is not far from the top of the list of states having the worst DUI problems. After using a combination of CDC data, Department of Transportation data, and local state data to create a comprehensive score for all 50 states, Alabama came in at number 16.
To rank the states, the study used metrics of deaths directly related to DUIs, DUI arrests per 100,000 people and drinking too much before driving, as reported by drivers themselves.
The top 10 states with DUI problems in America are Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, South Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Maine. The 10 states with the least DUI Problems are: New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Utah, Rhode Island, Virginia, Indiana, Washington, and Kansas.
In 2015, the study shows that over 10,000 people were killed in DUI related incidents and over 200,000 were injured as a result of DUI related incidents. “The fact that over 10,000 people a year die from DUI related accidents is a travesty,” said Trent Wilson, co-author of the research. “We hope this research will open some eyes and make people think twice before drinking and driving.”
DUIs were on the rise in 2016, according to data released late last year by the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Although Alabama is near the top of the list that no state wants to be at the top of, there are a few encouraging numbers. For one, Alabama’s numbers are considerably low compared to many of the states atop the list. Secondly , the study shows there was a 6.8% decrease in DUI related deaths in 2016 from the previous year. 247 people died in Alabama from DUI related accidents which accounted for .29% of all traffic related deaths in 2016. The DUI death rate for Alabama is just over five per 100,000 people, and the DUI arrest rate is 162 per 100,000 people.
The penalties for a DUI in Alabama are stiff. A first time conviction requires a 90 day license suspension, a maximum $2,000 fine, and up to a year in a municipal or county jail. Click here to see all penalties for a DUI conviction in Alabama.
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.