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Nation sees fewer drunk driving accidents, deaths overall

Are America's roads getting safer?

The latest information from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) indicates that there's been a steady decline in the number of drunk driving accidents and deaths all over the country since 1980.

Experts suggest that there are a variety of reasons behind the drop:

  • Better methods of detecting drunk drivers, including the use of Breathalyzers and other chemical tests.
  • The prevalence of sobriety checkpoints, especially during "high-risk" holidays.
  • Stricter drunk driving laws, including increased penalties for repeat offenders and jail time.
  • The popularity of services like Uber and Lyft, which make it increasingly easier to find a ride when someone's been drinking.
  • A social shift that emphasizes personal responsibility when drinking. (A drunk driving charge can be akin to social and professional suicide for many people.)

Just the same, too many people still make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after they've been drinking. It's estimated that -- on any given day -- there are 300,000 drunk drivers on the roads. Only about 2,800 of those people will be caught. Some people are simply willing to "play the odds," even though that means putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.

Other people get behind the wheel under the mistaken belief that they're not really impaired -- or that they've sobered up. There's still a common misconception, for example, that a cold shower and hot coffee can help someone sober up. The sense of alertness gained from either (or both) can fool someone into believing that they are sober when they're not.

If you made a mistake and got behind the wheel when you were less than sober, it's important not to try to handle the case on your own. There's little understanding or mercy toward drunk drivers these days. Talk to an experienced defense attorney about your drunk driving charge.

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