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Albright College

TIP OF THE MONTH

MAY

MADD About DWIs

Almost once every 50 minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol involved, motor vehicle crash. In other words, that is almost 30 people daily and close to 11,000 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and friends annually; the most shocking, perhaps, is that choosing to drink and drive is a 100% preventable mistake. It is important to remember: alcohol consumption impairs your judgment, reaction time, vision, etc and the more alcohol you consume, the more impaired you become. Most of all, each and every number in statistics is representative of real lives and real people.

Nationally, a blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) of .08% is defined as illegal, but impairment begins with the first drink. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (or MADD) works closely with authorities, on both local and national levels, to reduce and eventually eliminate drinking and driving and the fatal repercussions. As the seasons change and winter fades to spring, they begin their campaign build up against drunk driving, and the summer months have the most intense crack downs.

On average, a “drunk driver has driven 87 times before [his or her] first arrest”; and statistically those drivers are young people, specifically 21-24 years of age (MADD).  Though most states enforce their own punishments, they may include any or all of the following:   automatically suspending your license and/or serving a jail sentence, appearing in a DWI court, impounding your vehicle, confiscating your license plates, or installing an interlock ignition (a device to prevent intoxicated persons from starting a vehicle) (Hanson).

Though the past few decades have seen a reduction in drunk driving, it is still a problem with a solution for its defeat. Yet the facts remain:

  • In a lifetime, one in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash.
  • The leading cause of death for young people is car crashes.
  • Drinking at a young age makes you seven times more likely to be in an alcohol related crash.
  • The average BAC of .16% is found in drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents.
  • There is almost no difference in driving drunk as compared to driving tired.

(MADD)                    

Don’t become just another statistic. Driving while intoxicated, or under the influence, is deadly. Use the resources provided to you; there are shuttle services that run on campus nightly and designating a sober driver is simple enough. And never hesitate:  if you, or a friend, have any questions, problems or concerns, stop into the Gable Health Center or call (610) 921 – 7532.

The above information is compiled from various sources including MADD, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and research by Prof. David J. Hanson, Ph.D. at the Sociology Dept in the State University of New York Potsdam.

- Nicole Kelly ‘12

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