When it comes to deaths caused by drunk drivers, even one is too many given that these incidents are completely preventable if only people would make the responsible choice to not drive after consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, that just does not seem like something that some drivers are willing to do.
According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maryland saw an increase in the number of people killed by drunk drivers in 2017 compared to 2016. In 2016, there were 142 fatalities in crashes involving alcohol. These deaths represented 27 percent of the state's total vehicular fatalities that year. Last year, however, the situation was even worse as 186 lives were lost at the hands of drunk drivers on Maryland roads, highways and freeways. That total comprised 34 percent of all Maryland deaths in auto accidents in 2017. The national average for drunk driving deaths last year was 29 percent.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility notes that alcohol can be a factor in marring many holiday celebrations as well. In 2016, 36 percent of the people who died in traffic crashes over the Chistmas holiday were killed in crashes in which alcohol was a noted factor. In 32 percent of the cases, at least one driver had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Another four percent had measurable levels of alcohol in their systems below that threshold.
New Year's was also a tragic time for drunk driving deaths with 43 percent of fatalities happening in wrecks involving alcohol. A total of 36 percent of those involved BAC levels over the legal limit.