To all my au pairs and anyone else who might stumble on this blog post: Have you heard of MADD? It is an organization called Mothers Against Drunk Driving and was founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver.
Here are some statistics from the MADD website, and other organizations such as the National Highway Safety Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Highway Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Michigan State University and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
They are worth reading and, more importantly, worth remembering.
- On an average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash during her or his lifetime.
- The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21- to 25-year-old people, a rate of 23.4%.
- Only time will sober up a person. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower WILL NOT HELP.
- An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before the first arrest.
- Every day in the USA another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving or a drunk driver.
- In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving accidents; that is one person every 51 minutes.
- Nearly every 90 seconds, someone is injured in a drunk driving accident.
- Drunk driving involvement in fatal crashes is much greater at night than during the day.
- There is a greater percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes on weekends than during the week.
- Driving impairment is not determined by type of drink, but by the amount of alcohol consumed over time.
- A standard drink is 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of alcohol like scotch, gin, etc.
- On an average, a person metabolizes alcohol at a rate of about one drink per one hour.
- Males were more apt to drive drunk than females.
- Of fatal crashes in 2011, 3% of drunk drivers were between 21 and 24 and 30% between the ages of 25 and 34.
None of this information is cheerful reading, but it is necessary reading. Please be wise in your decision making. Always have a designated driver. You will thank yourself, your host parents will thank you, your families will thank you, and I will thank you.