TeeJaw Blog

Drunk Drivers Are Actually Pretty Safe

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, November 18, 2011, 4: 29 PM

There are about 11,000 alcohol-related deaths as year in America.  Sounds pretty bad.  But consider that “alcohol-related” does not mean that the accident was actually caused by alcohol, it just means there was a car crash, someone had been drinking and someone died.  Many or most of those may have due to alcohol consumption but we don’t know what that number is because that’s not what “alcohol related” means.

There’s more.  There are about 110 million instances of “drunk’ driving a year. Eleven thousand deaths out of 110,000,000 incidents is 1/10th of 1%, or a 1 in 10,000 risk. Not so bad.

Here is the point: It’s the number of traffic deaths that are the actual result of drunk driving that should be the focus, not the number of drunk driving incidents that is purely a function of politics and not science, facts or logic. The politics of drunk driving results in laws that criminalize innocent behavior and that is why you can get a statistic that says you have only a 1 in 10,000 risk of being killed by a drunk driver. The risk is actually much higher than that and would be obvious if it were measured against the number of incidents of actual alcohol-impaired driving. But we don’t know that number. We don’t know how many incidents there are of real honest-to-goodness drunks out there because the focus is not on that. It’s on just getting as many DUI convictions as possible because the policy is made purely by politics rather than rational policy making based on logic, reason and science.  Such a policy would not have the police looking for everyone who had a glass of wine with their dinner but for real drunks on the road that are actually impaired and a danger to others.

When MADD finally gets its way and gets a law classifying all incidents of driving a car  as drunk driving then the risk of being killed by a “drunk” will be so infinitesimally small it can just be ignored.  It’s just that every time you get in your car you’ll be at risk of another DUI conviction, and MADD will be happy.  But what will they do after that?  Make it illegal to breath?

U.S. Behind the Curve in Drunk Driving, Author Finds

Interesting article, not that I agree with much of it.

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