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Impaired Driving

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  • Impaired driving is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, including those prescribed by physicians.
  • In the United States, approximately 30 people die every day from a crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver. That’s one death every 51 minutes.1
  • Annual costs for alcohol-related crashes in the United States exceed $39 billion.2
  • In an average week in Oklahoma, approximately135 people are involved in alcohol-related crashes, resulting in approximately 6 deaths per week.3
  • People in crashes involving an impaired driver are much more likely to be hospitalized or die than people in crashes without an impaired driver.4
  • Drivers impaired by alcohol/drugs are much less likely to use safety equipment such as seat belts or helmets for motorcyclists.4
  • Drugs other than alcohol (such as marijuana and cocaine) are involved in 18% of fatal motor vehicle crashes and often are used along with alcohol.4

Prevention

  • Choose a designated driver or make other arrangements for safe transportation if you plan to consume alcohol away from home.
  • Do not drive if you are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs or ride with anyone who is. If your friend is impaired, take away his/her car keys.
  • If starting a new medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it may affect your ability to drive.
  • Parents and communities should work together to prevent underage drinking and make clear to young people the dangers and severe consequences of impaired driving.

Internet Resources

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. Oklahoma Highway Safety Office
  4. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised April 2015

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