So you need auto insurance, now that you’ve committed a DUI violation, right? In fact, you’d like the cheapest possible rates and quotes around (though in your heart of hearts, you understand that DUI insurance is never really cheap). Drunk driving is a serious offense, so it’s normal that it should majorly affect your insurance costs, by way of a premium increase. But we discuss how much DUI insurance for truck, car, and motorcycle drivers costs in another post. We also list the best companies, explain which one does what for their customers, compare GEICO to State Farm and so one. But, for the purpose of this post, we take a look at how drunk driving affects people, from CA to NC, and back again. We give you stats, laws, PSAs, information, and advice. Because prevention starts with understanding the gravity of the situation.
5 essential facts about U.S. DUI laws
1. States with young populations and like-minded neighbors are more likely to pass strict DUI laws
According to a recent study by the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, DUI laws have nothing to do with how bad a state has it, nor with the political colors of its lawmakers. In fact, it’s all about how young its population is and how surrounded by states with similar laws. They found that the size of a state’s population aged 15 to 24 correlates with how likely a given state is to adopt a new law for the first time. The researchers suggest this might have something to do with the fact that said demographic is the most affected by traffic accidents.
2. Jail time varies widely for first-time and repeat offenders
On average, a first-time DUI violation offender can expect to spend as little as a single day in jail. Meanwhile, those committing their second DUI offense (or subsequent ones) are looking at as many as 21 days (on average). The longest jail time for first-time offenders is 10 days, in the state of Arizona, while repeat offenders get the longest sentence, of 180 days, in West Virginia.
3. Chances are you will get your license suspended
It’s not a rule of course: as many as 7 states enforce no administrative driver’s license suspensions for people stopped and arrested for alleged DUIs. However, the average time, even before being called into court, is a 3 month suspension. The longest suspension time is in Georgia, where a DUI can leave you without driving privileges for nigh on an entire year.
4. Are you in for an IID (Ignition Interlock Device)?
If you’re sentenced to using an IID, you’re also going to need SR22 insurance, no doubt about it. You may also have trouble providing for you and your own, since some employers will not let their personnel drive company cars if they know they’re mandated by law to use IIDs. But how likely are you to be sentenced to use such a device, based on where you live? 6 out of all the U.S. states have no legislation regarding IIDs. However, in most of them, if you’re a first-time offender with a 0.08 blood alcohol content, in 24 states you’ll have to use one. In 14 other states, they’re more lenient: they only give you an IID if your BAC is over .15. And the remaining 7 states only enforce IID obligations for second-time offenders.
5. Conservative states are stricter
By and large, ‘blue’ states are stricter in enforcing DUI laws and preventative measures than red ‘ones’. The 3 top scoring ones for strict legislation are Arizona (10 days arrest for first offenders, 90 days for second offenders; felony for the third offense; DUI stays on record for 7 years; license gets suspended for 3 months), followed by Alaska, and Connecticut. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the most lenient state is South Dakota (no minimum sentences, no license suspension, DUI stays on file for 5 years and is considered a felony on the third offense). It’s followed by the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania, which have comparatively longer on-record times (15 and 10 years respectively) for DUIs. Pennsylvania also enforces a minimum arrest time of 5 days for second-time offenders and in D.C. you get your license suspended for 3 months.
Image source: Wallet Hub
5 DUI related accidents that caused the most horrific deaths
The NHTSA drunk driving statistics for 2014 are not out yet, but it’s no secret that drunk and drugged driving continues to take lives throughout the United States. Although the overall rate of DUI-induced deaths fell by 23% from 2002 to 2012, the situation is far from rosy. There are 10 U.S. states with as many as 5 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012. The highest such rate in the country is in North Dakota (not surprising, considering the stats right above): it stands at 10.3 deaths/100,000 people. And in some states like Alabama, the rate of arrests remained low, in spite of their high ratio of deaths. Throughout the past three decades, the United States has seen some horrendous alcohol-related traffic accidents, resulting in deaths that got a lot of coverage, terrible injuries, and numerous victims. As a warning, here are the top 5 worst drunk driving accidents in the past 30 years.
1. Carrollton, Kentucky
In May 1988, the U.S. saw what has been repeatedly called the worst drunk driving disaster in its history. A pick-up truck, driven by a guy under the influence, crashed straight into a bus carrying 67 kids to school. 27 of them died and 34 more were badly injured.
Image source: Kentucky.com
2. Slaughter, Louisiana
Don’t be tempted to think that the name of the place where this horrid accident occurred was fated. It had far more to do with drunken, reckless driving than with fate. In May 2012, a drunk driver killed 5 out of the 7 people inside a minivan. The youngest victim was 6, the oldest 64, and two teens suffered heavy wounds.
3. Taconic State Parkway, New York
A 36 year-old female driver behind the wheel of a minivan, who was driving under the influence, lost control on the parkway and ran straight into an SUV. Three of the SUV’s occupants were instantly killed, but so were 4 of the woman’s own passengers, plus the driver herself.
4. Toledo, Ohio
Must’ve been the weather, right? In fact, this December 2007 DUI accident was caused entirely by alcohol abuse. A man, driving his pickup while drunk, crashed into a minivan. It was occupied by a mother and her four kids. None of the passengers in the minivan survived and the perpetrator is now serving a 43 year-long jail sentence.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
Quite the place to go binge drinking, huh? Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened a horrible car crash in May, 2007. He ended up killing 5 members of the same family, when he was only 19. By comparison, the victims included a 7-month old baby and a 32-year old mother.
A Directory of Top Alcohol Rehab Centers in the United States
There are plenty of alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in the U.S. – at least judging by the lifestyles of the rich and famous, who keep checking themselves in and out of them like they’re going out of style. But what if you don’t have the kind of money the late and great Amy Winehouse had at her disposal? You hit the Internet and check out lists of the current best treatment centers for alcohol addiction. Here are our picks:
Addictions Solutions, South Florida
Home page: www.solutionsrehab.com
The beautifully located center offers one-to-one talk therapy for its clients and only takes in a maximum of 24 patients. It’s rated 99/100 by the DCF. It offers both 12 step program solutions and alternatives. It’s a male-only facility.
Inspirations Recover for Women
Home page: www.inspirationsrecovery.com
This exclusively female facility will only take 16 in-house patients, in order to provide them with good quality, holistic treatment. Aside from alcohol addiction, it also helps patients recover from PTSD, trauma, drug addiction, eating disorders, and depression. It also has an outpatient service and is located in South Florida.
Home page: www.passagesmalibu.com
This facility has been running for over a decade now, under the helm of a father and his son: Chris and Pax Prentiss. Pax was inspired to open this facility, after he managed to beat his own demons, which kept him latched on to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. The center offers non-12 step treatment and has joined the ranks of those which have received the exclusive JCAHO certification (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations).
The Betty Ford Foundation, Hazelden, California
Home page: www.hazeldenbettyford.org
Surprised to see the well-known Betty Ford Center here? Don’t be. Its 12 step program and quality services has made it a household name since it first opened, in October 2012. It’s a not-for-profit treatment center, located on a 20 acre ranch, and dedicated to helping clients heal from all sorts of addictions.
The CARON Foundation
Home page: www.caron.org
This not-for-profit organization has several locations: two in Florida, one in Princeton, Texas, and one in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. Its name stands for “Comprehensive Addiction Treatment. Recovery for Life”. It’s affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and has been active for over 60 years now. It also treats teenagers and young adults and provides individual and group services, psychotherapy, addiction counseling, and even spiritual counseling.
10 terrifying teen drinking and driving statistics (with PSAs)
We’ve reached a scary, but necessary section in today’s post: the one which examines the facts and stats on teenage drinking and driving. We’ll let the facts speak for themselves, in hopes that they will provide an accurate picture of today’s alcohol addicted youth. We’ve also included 5 of the best video PSAs online right now. Watch, learn, talk to your kids and friends.
Survey results on youth drinking and driving, based on data collected in 2011
Image source: CDC
According to MADD, one in 6 teenagers binge drinks, but only 1 per cent of parents believe their kids binge drink.
Underage drinkers who start young are 7 times more likely to die in a DUI-induced car accident.
High school-aged teens who drink or use other addictive substances are 5 times more likely to drop out.
According to a 2013 national survey, over 50% of all teens in the 10th grade drink alcohol.
The CDC says the percentage of high school teens who drink and drive has gone down by 54% since 1991, yet 1 in every 10 teens still do this.
Drivers aged 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to be killed in a car crash when they drink to the point that their BAC reaches .08%.
85% of high-school students who self-reportedly drank before getting behind the wheel say they are binge drinkers (i.e. 5 or more drinks within a few hours).
In 2010, 1 in 5 teenaged drivers who killed someone in a car crash had consumed alcohol. 81% of them were above legal limits for adult drivers (.08%).
The 7 most compelling drinking and driving infographics
Still not sold on taking out SR22 insurance? Indeed, it would have been great not to need it in the first place—but there’s no turning back now. You’ve already ended up paying more for car insurance, might as well buy it, instead of continuing to needlessly endanger others. And in case you need more dire stats to convince you, check out the seven visually stunning infographics below. Sometimes a picture really is worth 1,000 words and, when it comes to the somber (and sobering!) realities of drunk driving, we certainly believe this to be true.
#1 Drunk Driving, by Edgar Snyder
Image source: Edgar Snyder & Associates
In 2010, a drunk driver killed someone every 51 minutes.
In 2010, 10,228 people died in car crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.8 or higher.
People ages 12 to 20 consume 11% of all the alcohol in the U.S.
#2 Drunk Driving in America
Image source: The News Wheel
17 million Americans drive drunk.
50%-75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive without a license.
Someone is injured in a drunk driving crash every 90 seconds.
#3 Drinking & DUIs During the Holidays
Image source: SCRAM Systems
58% of New Year’s Eve highway deaths are alcohol-related.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, 1,200 people will be killed and 25,000 people will be injured in alcohol-related accidents.
There’s an 112% jump in drinking violations on New Year’s Holiday.
#4 History of Drunk Driving
Image source: Life Safer
The first town to revoke drivers licenses for intoxicated drivers is Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1907.
The slogan “Friends don’t let friends drink and drive” was invented in 1983 by US DOT.
The 8 BAC limit for intoxication was adopted by all U.S. states in 2004.
#5 The Real Effects of Drinking & Driving
Image source: Visual.ly
Alcohol-related car crashes cost the U.S. $51 billion every year.
2 million people were arrested on DUI charges in the U.S. in 2008.
50% of passengers under 14 who died in alcohol-related crashes in 2009 were riding with an intoxicated driver.
#6 1 in 2 Teens Consider Driving on New Year’s Eve Very Dangerous
Image source: The Car Connection
1 in 10 teenage drivers will drive drunk on New Year’s Eve.
Teens say 37% of parents allow their teens to consume alcohol with them.
87% of teens will ask a drunk driver not to drive.
#7 Are You Over the Limit?
Image source: Best Infographics
The BAC limit for drivers in the UK is 80mg of alcohol for 100ml of breath.
One unit of alcohol = half a pint of 4% beer, lager, or cider.
The arrests for drunk driving between 6am and 8am increased by 4% between 2011 and 2012.
7 DUI PSAs that Will Make up Your Mind to Get SR22 Insurance
1. 3 clever and sad drunk driving PSAs from Australia
Here’s a playlist of 3 public service announcements on the perils of drunk driving from Down Under. They were produced and broadcast in the late ‘90s-early ‘00s, which explains the poor image quality. However, we advise you to look beyond that and really try to internalize the message? Ever thought of how many times you pass out because of alcohol consumption, after a good old night out on a bender? What about the effects of alcohol on your vision? Finally, and perhaps most compellingly, do you really want to be responsible for your friends’ lives when you can barely hold your own?
2. A short film by MADD
This 5 minute clip, banned for graphic imagery in the U.S. is a very powerful video against drunk driving from MADD (the not-for-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving, founded in the 1980s). It’s beautifully accompanied by R.E.M.’s hit Everybody Hurts—and it’s possibly not a coincidence that this, too, was produced in Australia. The country ranks far behind the U.S. in terms of per capita deaths caused by DUI-related crashes.
3. Remarkable artwork by Ogilvy India
How cool, an optical illusion! Created by famous ad agency Ogilvy for the Mumbai traffic police, you might be tempted to think that this is an animated .gif. Well, think again. In fact, it’s just a very clever, color-based rendition of what happens to your brain and eyesight on booze.
Image source: Ads of the World
4. Slow down… Faster!
What better way to say that alcohol impairs your speed in reacting to external stimuli? And when you drive, you need sharp senses and quick instincts, in order to safely navigate the dangers of traffic. Otherwise, you might just brake a little too late. This print ad was created for beer brand Heineken, by an unknown European ad agency.
Image source: Toxel
5. When Star Wars met PSAs
If you’re a spring chicken, who’s been introduced to the Star Wars universe by way of its countless prequels, you probably have no idea what your about to watch. In fact, even the more seasoned fans of George Lucas’ saga may not be aware that back in the day, when Lucas was still figuring out how to deal with the movie’s immense popularity, he did some PSAs. The one below, which features the era’s famous Friends don’t let friends drink and drive anti-DUI slogan, was first aired on May 23, 1979. The point? The Mos Eisley Cantina may be gruesome, but not even there will you find drunk drivers!