Drinking alcohol is not an uncommon activity in society today as many people use it as a way to relax or socialize. There is nothing wrong with adults consuming alcohol as long as they do so responsibly. In part, this means making sure they have someone else do the driving for them after a night of drinking. Unfortunately, far too many people fail to follow this suggestion.

Those who consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car may end up getting into a crash and hurting, or even killing, someone else. These are the type of car accidents that are totally preventable, but people still engage in this behavior all across the nation. A recent study found some surprising facts about driving under the influence, including the fact that North Carolina ranks high on the list for rates of drunk driving.

Troubling numbers

A national drug testing company conducted the study. The company compiled data from multiple sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FBI crime reports and the U.S. Department of Transportation. It found that North Carolina had the fourth-highest rate of drunk driving in 2018. For every 100,000 people, police arrested 518.8 people for a DUI-related offense. In the last four years of the study, from 2014 to 2018, the rate of DUI arrests rose by 17.4 percent.

The problem is widespread across the country. Each year, there are almost 130 million incidents of drunk driving across the U.S. These accidents often prove fatal, with 20 people every day losing their lives to a drunk driver. The data also showed that men face arrest more often for DUI than women, and white people make up a high majority of DUI arrests.

Some good news

The study actually showed some positive findings. Overall, drunk driving rates across the country have dropped by 35% from 2009 to 2018. North Carolina’s highest rate happened the first year of the study, with 724.95 DUI arrests per 100,000 people. The rate in this state dropped by 28.4 percent during the study time frame.

No matter the results of this study, car accidents involving drunk drivers will continue to happen. If you or someone you care about has been harmed in a crash with an intoxicated driver you may wonder where to turn for help. An attorney can help guide you through your available legal options in the pursuit of justice.