Students Against Drunk Driving Educates College Students About Dangers of DUI
Drinking and driving remains one of the most common causes of car accidents among college students despite widespread awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. Nearly one third (31 percent) of traffic deaths involved drunk driving in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s 10,228 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2010!
And even though the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old, many drunk driving accidents involving college students from Southern California to Maine and everywhere in between. That’s why groups like Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) serve such a vital role. When students are involved in drunk driving accidents, they may need the help of an experienced Irvine drunk driving accident attorney.
How common is underage drinking in the United States?
Underage drinking has become a serious problem in the United States. Consider the facts from SADD’s website:
- In the past 30 days, 26.4 percent of young adults 12 to 20 years old will drink alcohol
- 48.7 percent of college age students 18 to 20 years old drank alcohol in the last month
- An estimated 72 percent of students consumed alcohol before the end of high school
Which college students drink and drive the most?
Statistics indicate that college students in certain parts of the country drink and drive more than others. According to a study published in 2003 in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, college students most likely to drink and drive were:
- Male students – 40.9 percent drove after drinking vs. 30.7 percent of female students
- White college students – 37.4 percent drove after drinking
- College students 21 to 23 years old – 46.8 percent drove after drinking
- College seniors – 40.6 percent drove after drinking
- College fraternity/sorority members – 44.6 percent drove after drinking
Why do college students drink and drive?
Understanding why some students drink and drive – even when they know it’s against the law and puts them and everyone else on the road in danger – is a complicated question.
In an interview with CBS News, Robert B. Voas, senior scientist and director of the Impaired Driving Center at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, offered his conclusion based on another study of drinking and driving habits among young adults: “This study tends to demonstrate that alcohol-related problem behaviors increase with age, perhaps due to greater opportunities for risk taking such as owning a car or the ability to patronize bars and purchase alcohol.”
Another theory about why young adults drink and drive – peer pressure to drink alcohol. And once many college students start drinking, many students binge drink, meaning they have more than 5 drinks in a 2 hour period. Consider this sobering statistic – 90 percent of alcohol consumed by adults under 21 years old involves binge drinking, according to CDC.
How common are drunk driving accidents among college students?
Drinking and driving accidents remain one of the most common causes of car accidents among young adults. Specifically, more than one-third (34 percent) of a fatal drunk driving accidents (meaning the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater) involved drivers 21 to 24 years old. Or simply talk to any drunk driving accident attorney in California or Massachusetts or any other state in the country. They will tell you that drinking and driving remains a serious problem among college students and other young adults.
What is the solution to stopping drinking and driving?
The CDC has several recommended solutions for putting an end to drinking and driving. These include:
- Actively enforcing existing drunk driving laws
- Using sobriety checkpoints
- Taking away drivers’ licenses for people convicted of drunk driving
- Requiring mandatory substance abuse treatment for DUI offenders
What is SADD doing to prevent drunk driving among college students?
Students Against Drunk Driving was founded in 1981 in Wayland, Massachusetts. More than three decades later, more than 10,000 SADD chapters exist in all 50 states throughout the country.
SADD’s initial mission statement was simple: “to help young people say ‘No’ to drinking and driving,” according to SADD’s website. Nowadays, SADD has expanded its message and its goals to include educating students about the dangers of other potentially destructive activities, according to SADD’s website
“Students have told us that positive peer pressure, role modeling and environmental strategies can prevent other destructive decisions and set a healthier, safer course for their lives. And that is why SADD has become a peer-to-peer education, prevention, and activism organization dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, teen violence, and teen suicide.”
To learn more about SADD, visit SADD’s website and find a local chapter near you.
What should you do if a fellow college student tries to drive drunk?
- Talk to your friend – Your opinion means a lot more than you might realize.
- Tell them to not drink and drive – Friends often listen to other friends.
- Take their car keys – Don’t leave anything to chance.
- Help find a ride – Whether it’s a ride home for you or a taxi, you can help.
- Talk to them tomorrow – When they’re sober, have a conversation with them.
Not sure what to say? SADD and other organizations can help. Remember, it’s ok to say no when someone offers you alcohol. And drinking and driving isn’t just a college student issue. It’s everyone’s problem!
Stay safe. Don’t drink and drive – for everyone’s sake.