A national survey has found that after a long, slow downward trend alcohol-impaired driving has recently increased significantly. From 1993 to 1997 the estimated annual number of episodes of alcohol-impaired driving (AID) declined at a rate of a little more than one percent per year, from 123 million to 116 million. From 1997 to 1999, however, it increased 37 percent, from 116 million to 159 million. It stayed at that increased rate in 2002.
The survey, published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also found that four out of five episodes of alcohol-impaired driving were reported by people who also reported binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks or more than one occasion.
"After years of gentle steady progress in the 1990s we are now heading in the wrong direction," said Kyran Quinlan, M.D., M.P.H., clinical associate in pediatrics at the University of Chicago, who worked with colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on this report. "This tells us that we urgently need new strategies to prevent alcohol-impaired driving with special emphasis on reducing binge drinking."
John Easton | EurekAlert!
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