Survey shows lower rate of impaired driving in U.S. for 2014

December 30, 2016

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of driving under the influence of alcohol and illicit drugs has been quantified in a report published Dec. 28 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality in Rockville, Md., and colleagues used data from the 2002 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health to examine the prevalence of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs among individuals aged 16 years or older.

The researchers found that the prevalence of driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs was 11.1 and 4.1 percent, respectively, in the past year; 2.8 percent drove under the influence of both alcohol and illicit drugs, including 2.4 percent who drove under the simultaneous influence of alcohol and drugs. There was an increase in the percentage of people driving under the influence through the young adult years, and thereafter a decline was seen with age; the percentages were higher for males. Compared with 2002 to 2012, the percentage driving under the influence of alcohol was lower in 2014 (11.1 versus 11.8 to 15.3 percent), as was the percentage driving under the simultaneous influence of and (2.4 versus 2.9 to 3.4 percent).

"The trend analysis suggests that prevention messages may be having an effect because rates have declined, particularly among high-risk groups like young adults and males," the authors write.

Explore further: Fewer teens are driving drunk, national survey says

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