Disconcerting as it may be, a recently released study by the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that men are more inclined to operate car, trucks and motorcycles while under the influence of alcohol than are females. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we are hardly surprised at the finding of this study, which clearly indicates that male drivers take to the road more often while intoxicated than most any other segment of the driving public.
Although is certain that not everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car, motorcycle or commercial motor vehicle is legally intoxicated, it can be said that many people who do operate motor vehicles while impaired to some degree may not actually realize the chance they take with their lives, much less the lives of innocent people all around them.
Here in Baltimore, as well as Gaithersburg, Rockville, Annapolis and Washington, D.C., even persons who are stopped by police and subsequently charged with drunken driving, may actually be surprised that they had a blood-alcohol content (or BAC) of 0.08-percent or more.
If only for this reason, the Maryland State Police and local law enforcement departments continually try to enforce our anti-drunk driving laws. Of course, a portion of those motorists arrested for driving while impaired are actually under the influence of doctor-prescribed medication; some are even high on illegal drugs.
Regarding the CDC’s report, men nationwide are reportedly four times more likely to drive drunk than women motorists. Based on news reports, the study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates why men many times find themselves being ticketed for drunken driving more than women.
Part of the reason for this, as stated in the news, is that men tend to drive more often than women, and in general rack up more driving miles every year. One explanation for the higher rate of DWIs may be tied to the fact that, statistically, men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors when compared to women.
This trend, among other instances of alcohol-related traffic accidents, may explain the ever-increasing police presence during busy holidays, such as July 4th and New Year’s. Every year Maryland’s law enforcement agencies takes part in nationwide anti-DWI and DUI campaigns (“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which is just one of the numerous initiatives that we see annually, was focused on young male motorists who may be driving a car, motorcycle or truck while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs).
The CDC report identifies drunken driving as a national threat; one that can affect most anyone who travels on Maryland’s highways and surface streets. In that report, adult motorists all across the nation admitted to more than 100 million instances of drunken driving during 2010. Shocking as it may be, 85 percent of those admitting to driving drunk at one time or another also met the criteria for an individual who is a binge drinker.
Based on reports, instances of drinking and driving have decreased nationwide over the last half-decade by about 30 percent, yet alcohol-related car, truck and motorcycle crashes still represent one of every three fatal traffic collisions. Statistically speaking, in 2009, about 11,000 traffic deaths nationwide were directly linked to some kind of alcohol use.
Additional information provided by the CDC:
— Males represented 81 percent of drunk drivers on American’s highways and surface streets in 2010
— In 2010, Younger men (21-34 years of age) were responsible for more than 30 percent all drunken driving incidents, yet this group represented about 11 percent of the adult population
— Binge drinkers are defined as those who consume a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time (five drinks or more for men; four or more for women)
— Minimum legal drinking age laws (allowing alcohol use by those 21 and older) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia help to keep inexperienced drivers from drinking and driving
— Ignition interlocks (ordered by courts for those convicted of DWI/DUI) can prevent convicted DWI offenders from being re-arrest rates by a rate of about 60 percent
Men more likely than women to drink and drive, NJ.com, November 03, 2011
Drinking and Driving: A Threat to Everyone, CDC.gov, October 2011