While certain dangers on the road, such as distracted driving, are garnering significant attention, one of the most historically risky behaviors on the road is a drunk driving accident. Despite the known risk and awareness that law enforcement and the courts will treat a drunk driver harshly, people continue to get behind the wheel after drinking. When there is an automobile accident because of a drunk driver, there can be severe injuries, medical expenses and fatalities.
A recent report says that New Mexico is in the top 15 states for drunk driving incidents. This coincides with a long-term improvement in the number of drunk driving fatalities in the U.S. Since the early-1980s, the number of drunk driving deaths has reduced by half. However, 29 percent of road fatalities are due to a drunk driver. The information came from BackgroundChecks.org. Its numbers showed that our state was one of the worst states in the U.S. for DUIs. The definition of being impaired was if the driver had a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.08.
The statistics were accrued by gauging the severity of the DUI, the number of arrests for every 100,000 people, and how many fatalities there were per 100,000 people. The statistics from arrests came from the FBI. The fatalities due to DUI came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Out of all 50 states, New Mexico was sixth for DUI incidents. There were 108 deaths in the state in 2018. That was a decrease of 4 percent from 2017. Holiday time is particularly worrisome for DUIs with people traveling greater distances and attending parties. The most DUI arrests happen from Thanksgiving through New Year's.
In New Mexico, there is a plan to crack down on drunk drivers through the month of December. To date in 2019, there were 350 auto accident deaths with 92 being alcohol-related. These statistics are concerning for myriad reasons. People who are on the road are not expecting to be involved in a car accident because of a drunk driver. Still, it happens all too often.