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Deadly DUI: The people most at risk for a crash

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that while alcohol-related fatalities may be decreasing, they are still a significant problem. In 2011, the year for which the most recent data is available, 277 people died as a result of an impaired driver. That number reflects 23 percent of the state’s overall traffic fatalities.

While anyone can be a victim of drunk driving, there are people who may be at the highest risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, young people are more likely to be involved in a drunk driving crash than older people are. The numbers also state that one of every three legally drunk drivers who were involved in fatal crashes in 2013 were between 21 and 24 years old. Perhaps even more disturbing is that people who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent and were involved in fatal accidents were six times more likely than their sober counterparts to have had a prior DUI conviction.

The CDC suggests that fatal DUI accidents could be prevented through the following measures: 

  • Taking away driving privileges for people who have been convicted of DUI
  • Require DUI offenders to take a substance abuse assessment and perhaps undergo treatment
  • Enforcing DUI laws, including zero tolerance laws for underage drivers

Georgia has strict laws concerning drunk drivers. Someone convicted of his or her first offense could face up to a year in prison and will have his or her license suspended for up to one year. Setting and enforcing serious consequences is one way the state can help deter people from driving while intoxicated.

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