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By the numbers: Drunk driving and New Year's Eve

The last day of 2017 is almost here. Many people might consider that reason enough to celebrate on New Year's Eve. Whether the celebration is to mark the end of the old year or the start of a new one, many here in Charlotte enjoy New Year's Eve with friends, co-workers, family and sometimes strangers. While it is usually all in good fun, unfortunately, some people don't recognize that they cannot drive safely after consuming alcohol.

In too many cases, those people get behind the wheel of their car on New Year's Eve and cause motor vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has since 1980 fought to protect the lives of motorists by pointing out the dangers of impaired driving. The group has compiled statistics that make an overwhelming case against driving while drunk, and driving while buzzed or while high on legal or illegal drugs.

Let's take a brief look at the numbers:

  • Two out of every three people in the U.S. will be involved in a drunk driving crash at some point in their lives
  • Almost 7 percent of drivers who were involved in a fatal traffic crash tested positive for THC, the principle active ingredient in marijuana.
  • Every two minutes, a drunk driver injures someone in the U.S.
  • Last year, more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes – that's one victim every 50 minutes – and another 290,000 people were injured in crashes caused by a drunk driver.

Please be safe this New Year's Eve. If you have been drinking, make use of a designated driver, taxi cab, ride-sharing service or public transportation. Don't drive if you're buzzed, drunk or high.

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