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Survey indicates that U.S. drunk driving rate fell in 2014

Chicago residents who are concerned about roadway safety may feel encouraged by data collected by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. According to the organization's 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the national drunk driving rate hit a 13-year low in that year.

About 11 percent of those interviewed as part of the survey said they had driven drunk within the previous year. That number represents a 4 percentage point decrease from 2002's numbers. Survey data indicates that men ages 21 - 25 had the highest reported rate of drunk or impaired driving, with about 20 percent of those individuals admitting to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

The validity of the survey data has been called into question since interviewees self-reported their driving habits. News sources claim that some individuals may not have been honest with their responses, and that the word 'impaired" can have a different meaning among individual respondents. The survey method has not changed since 2002, however, which indicates that the data is likely sound, according to reports. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stands by the survey and believes the reduction in drunk driving rates is due to a number of factors, including awareness campaigns and strict laws.

Although there seems to a downward trend in the rate of impaired driving, drivers should be aware that drunk driving remains a major contributor to roadway deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration logged more than 10,000 drunk driving deaths across the U.S. in 2015, and law enforcement officials take those numbers seriously. Individuals who have been accused of DUI or impaired driving in illinoiss often face serious penalties, including license revocation and jail time, if a conviction is obtained, which is why having legal assistance when trying to combat the allegations can be important.

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