Phoenix: among the worst in DUI rates and drunk driving crashes

We read recently of a study of which of the most populated U.S. have the highest rates of drunk driving. As we all know, each year drunk drivers cause tens of thousands of motor vehicle crashes across the nation that result in serious injuries and fatalities.

It probably won’t surprise you that Phoenix has a lower DUI rate than Las Vegas – after all, Sin City has a nearly constant influx of tourists eager to enjoy themselves. We also have a lower drunk driving rate than a pair of Texas cities: Austin and San Antonio.

But that’s it. Of the 30 cities studied from 2009 to 2018, only three top Phoenix in drunk driving arrests per 100,000 residents.

Our 4,607 arrests per 100,000 residents easily tops Chicago’s 1,119, Detroit’s 1,135 and the 1,804 in Los Angeles. But the difference between our rate and the rates in New York City (769), Boston (348) and Baltimore’s 195 per 100,000 residents is shocking.

One of the dangers of statistics is that they can be numbing. Yes, our numbers are significantly worse than in most other major American cities, but what do those numbers really mean?

The effects of alcohol on the body and brain have been documented many times, but let’s remind those of us tempted to drink and drive of what awaits them when they consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel:

  • Slows reaction times: alcohol delays reflexes, which diminishes your ability to respond to changes in traffic, weather, road conditions, etc. Alcohol use also decreases hand-eye-foot coordination.
  • Impairs vision: alcohol slows eye-muscle functions and alters eye movement and perception, often resulting in blurred vision. It also diminishes the ability to understand the positions of your vehicle and other vehicles, as well as the locations of the center-line and road signs.
  • Decreases mental capabilities: concentration decreases with alcohol use, as does the ability to comprehend situations and make good decisions.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a drunk or drugged driver, contact a Phoenix attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation to discuss compensation for lost wages, earning ability, medical expenses, future medical needs, pain, suffering and more.

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