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TRBR. Todd Bennett, P.C.

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Impaired driving trending downward in the United States

Texas residents may be interested to know that the drunk driving rate fell to a 13-year low in 2014. That was according to data from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which showed that 11.1 percent of Americans 16 and older said that they had driven under the influence of alcohol in the previous year. The survey also reported fewer drivers driving under the influence of drugs or under both drugs and alcohol at the same time compared to 2002.

While the downward trend may be encouraging, there was an increase in traffic fatalities from 2014 to 2015 involving drunk drivers. In 2014, 9,943 people were killed in such crashes while 10,265 were killed in such accident in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, this may be because Americans drove more in 2015 compared to 2014.

In 2015, there were .32 deaths per 1 million miles traveled, which was the lowest in at least 10 years. That was down from .33 deaths per million miles traveled in 2014. Data also shows that the drunk driving rate for those between the ages of 21 to 25 fell by more than 10 percent since 2002. The drunk driving rate among those 16 to 20 fell by more than half when compared to numbers from 2002.

Drunk driving charges should be taken seriously, because the consequences of a conviction can be severe. In some cases where it is a first offense, an attorney can help to obtain an agreement from the prosecutor that involves entering a plea of guilty in exchange for reduced penalties. However, it is also possible in some circumstances to successfully defend against the charges at a trial, such as where the traffic stop was not conducted with the required reasonable suspicion on the part of law enforcement.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

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