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Who is most likely to drive drunk?

Another drunk driving accident happened in Costa Mesa last Sunday when a car driving along Canyon Drive went down a 50-foot embankment. Fortunately, the driver and passenger were rescued and suffered only minor injuries. Unfortunately for the driver, he is being charged with felony DUI.

You can read more about it here.

Who is most likely to drive drunk?

What type of person do you picture when you think of a drunk driver?

Is it someone like this?

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

Older man, scraggly hair, disheveled — even a bit creepy looking. While the above picture is meant to be somewhat humorous (if you don’t know who that is, it’s Nick Nolte, a famous actor), this might be similar to what you picture. If something like this does come to mind when you think of a typical drunk driver — well, statistically, you’d be wrong.

The truth is, the rate of drunk driving is highest among 26 to 29-year-olds.

They’re also most likely to be male. (source: MADD)

As it turns out, our Canyon driver was a 26-year-old man.

The accident occurred around 1:00 am Sunday morning.

Guess what? Drunk driving is far more likely to happen at night than in the daytime.

It’s astonishing that although the statistics are widespread and people are educated about the dangers of driving drunk starting at a young age, they will still continue to drive under the influence. (This has to do in part with the fact that young people are more likely to be risk-takers and actually have underdeveloped portions of their brains that prevent them from using good judgment. Not sure what the excuse is for older people…)

True, drunk driving is a mistake that can happen to many good, otherwise innocent people. These aren’t all criminals or addicts we’re dealing with here. However, according to MADD, the average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before their first arrest. 

Eighty times??

That means there are probably a LOT more drunk drivers on the roads on a daily basis than you or I would care to know about.

What can we do?

First off is YOU. You only have control over yourself. You can start by vowing to never get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. Nowadays we have so many alternatives: taxi, Uber, Lyft, Drunk Rescue, you name it. Get a ride from a friend, or simply stay put! (And no, drinking coffee or water or jumping around will not sober you up. Only the passage of time does that. Sorry.)

Next, refuse to ride with someone who has been drinking, even at the risk of upsetting them. It’s just not worth it. Do what you can to prevent your friends from driving drunk also.

Remember how we said you only have control over yourself? Seeing as how you don’t have control over others, take the statistics to heart and do what you can to reduce your risk of being on the road with a drunk driver. Stay off the road during late night or early morning hours, as well as holidays such as Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve/Day, 4th of July and others. If it looks like someone is swerving or veering in their lane and might be driving under the influence, call 911 and report them. You’re not being a snitch — you’re potentially saving their life and the lives of others.