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Drinking & Driving

Death rides the highway when drink takes the wheel! South Carolina is the second worst state in the nation for drinking-related fatalities per capita (10.5 alcohol-related fatalities per 100,000 people). According to, Montana is the worst (10.9 per capita).

It was also mentioned that every day an average of 11,318 teens try alcohol for the first time. adds that drinking and driving causes over 25,000 deaths a year. It has been said that one out of every 10 drivers is a drunk driver! It is known that most of the fatal drinking and driving crashes occur late at night and early morning hours.

Although our country declared war on illegal drugs, it allows massive promotion and glorification of another drug called alcohol. The alcohol industry yearly spends some $2 billion in promoting and marketing its product through advertising. Wikipedia declares that 45 percent of the commercials that young people view each year are advertisements for alcohol. It also reveals that the beer brewing industry spent more than $770 million on television ads and $15 million on radio ads in 2000. Drinking seems to be portrayed as what makes things fun, exciting, and worthwhile!

Results of studies are shared on the First Eagle website. For example, every 22 minutes someone dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle crash.

Sixty percent of all teen deaths in car crashes are alcohol-related. During weekends one in 10 drivers has been drinking. Cars and bars can mean stars and scars!

Four quick drinks usually results in an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The liver handles one drink per hour, so there are times drinkers need to “BAC” off! Only time will lower the amount of alcohol in blood.

Some safe driving strategies to be considered are: Blow your horn before passing a driver whose vehicle is drifting. If the driver then drifts more, assume the driver is intoxicated and don't pass. Expect intoxicated drivers to make erratic maneuvers, especially during late hours. If a DUI driver is following you, consider turning off at the next street or driveway. Don't pull off to the side of the road since such drivers are drawn to lights of stopped vehicles.

Drinking can be deceptive—“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). Be sure to overcome the downward steps of drinking that can happen: Descend, Deception, Despair, Disgrace, Disease and Death.

National Disaster? 3 Mile Island—no deaths. Alcohol—over 561 deaths a day (P.A.P.A., Inc.). Why doesn't our country wake up to this tragic problem and take measures against it like they have with the tobacco industry? Statistics show that thousands are killed by intoxicating liquor while only one is killed by a mad dog, yet we shoot the dog and license the liquor!

Joe Sabbadino
Driving Educator
SCDTSEA Public Relations