Is North Carolina Effective at Preventing Drunk Driving?

Drunk driving accidents remain a serious problem despite efforts to encourage sober driving. Many different factors can affect the rates of drunk driving in North Carolina. For example, Jackson County, NC saw a dramatic increase in alcohol-related traffic collisions between 2012 and 2014 according to Smoky Mountain News. The increase may have been caused by a change to local laws that lifted the ban on alcohol sales within county limits. A higher number of students enrolling in local colleges and a growth in population also played a role in increasing drunk driving, as did an improving economy that sent more people to a local casino in the area. Many of the victims of these collisions are not residents of the county, but instead come from South Carolina or other parts of North Carolina because they are passing through the area or because they are visiting the casino. DWI Arrest.jpg

As drunk driving death rates rise, an Asheville auto accident lawyer knows that it becomes more important than ever to enforce laws designed to crack down on impaired drivers. Just recently, Consumer Health Day reported on a study showing that states that do the most to enforce DUI laws tend to have the lowest rates of impaired driving.

Enforcing Drunk Driving Laws Improves Road Safety

Very few new laws are being passed to tackle the issue of drunk driving. A senior research scientist with the Pacific Institute for Research and Education suggests that the best way to make progress on reducing the number of drunk people on the roads is to be better at enforcing the existing laws on the books.

Obviously, arresting a drunk driver gets him off the road. However, this is not the only effect of better enforcement of DUI laws. The studies suggest that when states are serious about enforcing DUI laws, motorists know this and are deterred from ever getting behind the wheel drunk.

In particular, two specific enforcement measures may have the greatest deterrent effect. These effective measures include a higher number of arrests for DUI per state residents, and a higher number of random traffic stops per state residents.

Data on DUIs backs up this assertion. States that tend to make more DUI arrests and that routinely conduct random traffic stops are better able to stop people from getting behind the wheel impaired in the first place.

To be most effective, states need to combine high-visibility enforcement with strong public-awareness messaging. In states where the chances of being randomly stop by police fell below 228 per 10,000 adult drivers, the odds that a driver would have a BAC of .08 or higher were four times greater than in other states where there were 1,275 traffic stops per 10,000 drivers. This is a significant change and North Carolina officials should strongly consider whether stepped up enforcement efforts could help to make state roads safer.

Contact the South Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

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