A Look at the Prevalence of Drunk Driving in My World

31 Mar

My findings in a nutshell are as follows.  About 75% of those surveyed are college students between the ages of 21 to 24.  Nearly 84% of those people drink once or twice a week, and 44% said they never drive under the influence.  However, 35 of the 44 people questioned admitted that they have gotten into the car with a drunk driver before, and only one person said they do not know anyone who has either driven drunk or gotten into the car with someone under the influence.  60% of those surveyed have been or know someone who has been in an alcohol-related accident.  Nearly half of those who admitted to driving drunk before said they have never been caught.  A couple people have been charged with a 1st DUI and a couple have been charged as a repeat offender.  The input I received at the end of the survey gave me a good understanding as to why people think driving drunk is a common occurrence among people our age.  Most would agree that people who are under the influence tend to think they are invincible and capable of making their way home safely.  Others complain that cabs are expensive and public transportation is inconvenient.  This brings me back to my first entry, and the quest to create a system that will solve the problem at hand. The membership program I proposed a few posts ago would be a great alternative to driving drunk.  Like many of you explained, people just don’t think rationally when they are drunk.  And when they’re drunk, their mind is already set on where they want to be.  They want to sleep in their own beds and don’t want to pay a fortune to make it happen.  So we need to find a way to get people home safe and sound.  Cabs can help increase the chances of this becoming a reality with a pre-pay card system.

See the specific results from my survey below:

1. How old are you?

18 – 20                              [5]

21 -24                             [32]

25 – 30                             [5]

31+                                    [1]

2. Male or Female?

Male                              [11]

Female                         [32]

3. What is the highest level of education you intend to complete?

High School Diploma             [2]

Some College                             [8]

Bachelor’s Degree                    [23]

Master’s Degree                        [10]

4.  How often do you drink?

Never                                                                  [0]

Rarely (once every few months)                 [2]

Sometimes (once a month)                          [3]

Once or twice a week                                     [36]

Daily                                                                  [2]

5.  How often do you drive under the influence of alcohol (over the legal limit)?

Never                                       [18]

Very rarely                             [14]

Sometimes                             [5]

On a monthly basis             [1]

Weekly                                    [3]

6.   If you’ve driven under the influence, have you been caught?

Never been caught                                                          [19]

Been pulled over but got away with it                        [4]

Charged with a 1st DUI offense                                  [2]

Charged with a 2nd DUI offense                                [2]

Never driven drunk so this apply to me                     [14]

7.  Have you ever gotten into the car with someone who was under the influence of alcohol?

Yes – all the time                        [3]

Yes – sometimes                         [15]

Yes – once or twice                    [17]

No                                                  [6]

8.  Do you know someone who has driven drunk and/or gotten into the car with a drunk driver?

Yes – more than 20 people                    [17]

Yes – between 10 and 20 people          [13]

Yes – fewer than 10 people                   [10]

No                                                               [1]

9.  Have you or anyone you know been in an accident caused by drunk driving?

Yes – I or someone I know was in an accident but walked away without any scratches    [10]

Yes – I or someone I know has been injured                   [13]

Yes – Someone I know has been killed                              [10]

No                                                                                               [16]

10.  In a short paragraph, please explain to me why you think driving under the influence is so prevalent in today’s society, the primary reason you’ve driven drunk or gotten a ride from someone who has (if it applies), and what you think we as a community can do to prevent it. Feel free to share any stories or additional thoughts. I would love your input!

Lack of judgement and taxis are expensive. Plus, they claim to have ‘no other way of getting home’

3/16/11 2:21AM

Having traveled and studied abroad in Europe, I believe that the accessibility of public transportation or taxis has an effect on the amount of people that drive under the influence compared to the US. I would rather pay for a $100 taxi ride rather than drive drunk or get in the car with someone that is driving drunk, but I know plenty of people that feel the opposite. Many may think they are invincible (because they are drunk) or that they’ll never get caught/hurt.

3/16/11 5:52AM

I think kids today drink and drive because they don’t want to pay for a cab, but being as though I got my DUI when I was 19, I now know that a cab ride is much less expensive/more worth it than: a year without a license, AA meetings, community service hours, dui classes, lawyer fees, plus every other fee…. It caused me a lot of humiliation, but looking back at it now it provided me with an intense life lesson… that if I didn’t straighten my act up, I’d probably kill someone (I had 3 friends in the car with me… what a shitty friend i was) … I’m glad I learned the lesson young, and had a full year without a license (because i was underage, zero tolerance) … I really think the year without a license was a HUGE impact, and I only learned my lesson because it sucked so much. But today, people that get DUI’s over 21 just get a slap on the wrist… they won’t ever learn. The sentence needs to be more intense …

3/21/11 1:45PM

Well we all want to go to the party and we all want to drink…. As long as I dont drive home. That was until my friend flipped a car with me in it. The only way to truly stop young people from doing this is if we had places to crash or free taxis lol

3/23/11 11:40PM

I don’t know about today’s society but I think driving under the influence is prevalent in my life because of the environment I’m in at the moment. As a college student, I’m surrounded by people who binge drink and consequently don’t make smart decisions. I think another reason why people may drive drunk or get rides from drunk drivers is money. Many peoples’ bank accounts are suffering and getting a free ride from a friend is cheaper than taking a cab. Not to mention, getting in a car with a drunk driver probably means you’re drunk too and your decision-making is impaired.

3/29/11 2:49PM

people drive drunk because they are stupid and have poor planning skills. We cannot gauge properly how drunk the driver is sometimes we so get in the car like an idiot when they are driving.

3/29/11 5:12PM

I think people increasingly believe that they are invincible. Perhaps some feel that warnings issued by government and non-profit groups do not apply to them.

3/29/11 10:44PM

so cal public transportation sucks

3/30/11 3:01AM

i think drunk driving is prevalent in our society because so many people under the age of 21 have access to alcohol and therefor drive under the influene and don’t really know their limits. For those who do drive and are of age, i feel maybe people believe they can be a functioning alcoholic, going through their days wasted and or getting obliterated yet still thinking they have had the experience/tolerance to be able to handle themselves. As a community we should raise awareness of drunk driving and its consequences financial and emotional, as well as have more completely random screenings through out the week/weekend in different small and major intersections throughout the country. I have found that the more people are secluded from society the more they tend to drive drunk, being they are the only ones usually on the road and they know the road very well.

3/30/11 11:25AM

I think it’s a simple case of impaired judgement.. you never think you’re as drunk as you really are – therefore you’re unlikely to utilize the resources that are available to you.

3/30/11 12:50AM

I believe here are so many reasons that driving under the influence is so prevalent in today’s society. Some of those reasons being that people people believe they are invincible or they think that they are better drivers that another people, or that they “aren’t that drunk”. Another reason could be that taxis are very expensive and often public transportation isn’t available when bars let out at 2 or 3am. The primary reason I have driven drunk or as a passenger of a drunk driver is because I felt that myself or the other person was capable and it would be safe, or because I wanted to get home and public transportation wasn’t available and I had no money for a taxi. I believe that all universities should be required to implement safe-ride programs 24 hours of the day, and that communities should provide some sort of public or cheaper transportation system at later hours.

3/30/11 1:38PM Because everybody wants to drink, no one wants to get left out of the fun by not drinking. So they’ll drink to have a good time and either claim that they’re ok to drive even if they’ve had a few drinks, because they don’t want to pay for overnight parking/taxi, or because they want to sound cool the next day for having been able to get away with it.

3/30/11 2:09PM

People don’t want to leave there cars in a strange place, don’t want to pay for a cab, want to go home, and are able to think properly… car manufacturers should make built in breathalyzers to start the ignition…. for everyone!

3/31/11 2:29AM

I think people are just too lazy to designate a driver. No one wants to be the DD. It’s just more convenient to take your chances and drive drunk. It’s very dangerous and definitely a problem.

3/31/11 3:07AM

I think a lot of high school kids risk driving drunk to get home in time for curfew etc because there is a lack of open discussion about alcohol and the dangers between kids and parents. It becomes “forbidden” so we want to drink and find ways to sneak around (often dangerously)..

3/31/11 3:10AM

Cost of taxis, not being able to sleep over at what ever location you are drunk at, not feeling comfortable sleeping at the location you are drunk at, wanting to go home before or after your friends want to leave

3/31/11 4:04AM

It is a problem yes. I have gotten rides from drunk drivers when I was drunk and did not find out that they were drinking too much until after. It is always just to get home from a party or bar.

3/31/11 4:24AM

Have more on-campus events so students do not have to drive. Or, increase ad campaigns to gain awareness about the dangers.

3/31/11 5:12AM

The only time I’ve driven drunk was when I was at a party with people I didn’t know. I didn’t want to stay there, and my bed was a 10 minute drive from this party. Somehow I justified driving drunk with the fact that I wasn’t going very far. In reality, that was far enough to have been in a serious accident, or be pulled over by law enforcement. I feel like driving under the influence is less of a problem for our generation though. We make plans to get a ride, or stay somewhere, because that message has always been sent to us.

3/31/11 2:36PM

People believe they are more cautious when driving under the influence since they do not want to get pulled over.

3/31/11 4:12PM


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