Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 By the Numbers: DUI’s

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in the United States, the number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half since MADD was founded in 1980.

In 2011, 9,878 people were killed and approximately 350,000 were injured. Each crash, each death, each injury impacts not only the person in the crash, but family, friends, classmates, coworkers and more. Even those who have not been directly touched help pay the $132 billion yearly price tag of drunk driving. but together we can eliminate drunk driving.

Here in Overland Park, the number of DUI-related arrests has decreased over the last three years, which is something we’ve gladly promoted on several recent blogs. As we look at reasons why the numbers have declined, it’s fair to acknowledge that alcohol-related fatalities are also on the decline.

Number of DUI Arrests (Overland Park):     2012    2011    2010
                                                                             701      757      950

MADD contributes this reduction to the administration of tougher DUI penalties, especially given the fact that about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol are repeat offenders.

According to the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA):

Communities throughout America support increased criminal justice efforts to stop this illegal and life threatening offense. Studies show that the majority of Americans consider impaired driving one of our nation’s most important social issues ahead of healthcare, poverty/hunger, racism and education. Nearly 97 percent of Americans view impaired driving as a major threat to the community. As a result, the majority of Americans support increased use of enforcement efforts, such as saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, to protect innocent victims. Two-thirds of Americans strongly endorse the use of stricter and more severe penalties against impaired drivers to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Here in Overland Park we are still using the same resources that we have for the last few years or so, and the emphasis has not changed during that time. The key to our results have been the hard work by officers in this department and the ongoing enforcement and education campaigns.