Sometimes a person gets behind the wheel drunk in Arkansas and causes a devastating crash that results in death and injuries. Other times, that person makes it home in one piece. The latter may create a false sense of confidence that they are better able to handle alcohol in their system than they truly are. Over time, this may become a habitual problem, which may one day lead to serious consequences.
A 2014 document published by the CDC uncovered what those consequences may be for road users in Arkansas. It found that 1,769 people in the state died in car crashes caused by drunk drivers between 2003 and 2012. The victims were overwhelmingly male and most fell between the ages of 21 to 34. Only 1% of people in Arkansas admitted to driving after having a bit too much to drink, while the national average was almost double that at 1.9%. However, fatalities far exceed the national average.
Law enforcement agents across America continue to crack down on drunk drivers using a number of strategies. Some of these include the following:
- School-based instructional programs
- Stricter drunk driving laws
- Mass media campaigns
- Sobriety checkpoints
- Ignition interlocks
Note that many people who become habitual offenders do so because of a problem tied more closely to substance abuse than reckless driving. Understanding this, some states have decided to tackle alcohol laws instead. Business Insider reports that when states get tough on drinking laws, fatalities tied to drunk driving decline. Researchers found that every 10-percentage point of strictness a state adds to its drinking laws coincides with a reduction in the risk of road fatalities by that same 10%.
There are many circumstances that may lead to a person’s DUI or DWI arrest. A stronger public focus on what those underlying problems are may help to provide people with the help they need instead of relying on punishing them after the fact.