Authorities at the state and federal levels have strengthened enforcement, passes tougher laws, and sponsored anti-DWI campaigns that have had some success.
Deaths attributed to impaired driving were at record lows of 37% of all recorded fatalities in 2008.
However drunk driving continues to be a serious problem that continues to burden our, not only with monetary costs, but preventable human tragedy.
Drunk driving costs more than lives There are exorbitant costs involved in alcohol-related driving fatalities According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) each drunken-driving fatality costs about $3.
5 million in monetary losses, or an estimated $45 billion annually.
Injuries associated with DWI cost more than $110 billion annually.
Most drunken driving and alcohol-related accidents are caused by heavy drinkers, alcoholics and repeat offenders.
During weekends when most drunk driving occurs, very heavy drinkers, with blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) 50% above the legal limit, are involved in at least 65% of drunk driving fatalities and up to 35% of all alcohol related fatalities are caused by drivers with prior convictions.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) continually remains one of the most frustrating and apparently insurmountable problems.
Over the past 20 years DWI deaths have actually fallen thank to such activist groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but the decrease has plateaued and apathy appears to be setting in.
Experts say that tackling the problem of impaired driving will require stronger measures, ranging from sobriety checkpoints to impounding vehicles.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to change is awareness.
Most people are no longer focused on the problem of impaired driving and media coverage has been reduced to being seasonal in recent years.
Legal issues concerning drunk driving may be slowing progress Another complication is that statues are established by each state, and as a result, no consistent message is being received.
The need for establishing national standards for penalizing drunk drivers is being discussed.
The problem may require a comprehensive look at all aspects for a suitable solution.
The myriad of legal issues developed over drunk driving continues to obscure the issues and does nothing to assist those at risk.
There are debates over what defines a drunk driver and what should be considered to be the correct threshold for Blood Alcohol Concentration.
Another factor introduced is that some individuals may respond differently to alcohol as a stimulus.
One of the most successful programs created to reduce alcohol related traffic fatalities is New York State STOP-DWI, where stiff fines for impaired driving were actually used to enforce laws and rehabilitate offenders.
Whether or not you are a victim of DUI, the issue affects everyone, in some form and often leaves an indelible mark.