Government study: 1 in 12 drivers admit driving drunk
By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY One in 12 drivers admitted driving drunk at least once over the course of a year, a government survey released Wednesday found.
Twenty percent of the 6,999 people surveyed said they had driven in the past year within two hours of drinking an alcoholic beverage, yet an overwhelming majority — four out of five people — consider drinking and driving a major threat to their safety, according to the 2008 survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
"We have to do more, as a country to close the gap between believing that drunk driving is a threat and actively doing something about it," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said. "Impaired driving remains still a very serious problem."
As Labor Day approaches and summer travel peaks, police nationwide will launch a two-week blitz of DUI checkpoints and drunken-driving patrols, Strickland said. The federal government is spending $13 million in television and radio ads, mostly at sporting events, to get the message out, Strickland says.
"If you drive drunk, you will be arrested," he said.