Wisconsin Leads U.S. in Drunk Drivers

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This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been on I-94 after a Packers game. 

Almost one in four dairy state drivers (23.7%) admit to driving while intoxicated, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Close behind was North Dakota, where 22.4% admitted to taking the keys while drunk. A safer state to take a road trip would be Utah, which had the lowest rate of drunk driving at 7.4%.

(See where Paris Hilton’s drunk driving stint landed her in the list of Top 10 Badly Behaved Celebrities)

And where are you most likely to find a driver high on illicit drugs? Head to Rhode Island, where 7.8% of those surveyed said they got in the driver’s seat drugged.

Across the states, more than 30 million Americans, or 13.2%, admitted they’d driven drunk and 10 million while drugged during 2006-2009, when the survey data was collected. While the number seems staggering, it’s actually a drop compared to the 2002-2005 statistics, when 14.6% of drivers admitted to being drunk at the wheel.

The drugged drivers fell as well, from 4.8%  five years ago to 4.3% in the current study. Researchers stressed educating drivers about being on the road under the influence of drugs. It doesn’t get as much as attention as driving drunk, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) census, of the 2009 motor vehicle accidents that end in death, one in three fatalities tested positive for drugs.

(See what booze looks like under a microscope.)

The report focused on differences in age groups as well, where numbers of drivers under the influence of alcohol varied drastically. Among 16-25-year-olds, 19.5% admitted to drunk driving compared to 11.8% for those over 26.

Most people know the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence, so these numbers shouldn’t be shocking. But NewsFeed sure hopes they’re sobering. (via MSNBC)

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