Why Do People Drink and Drive?

It is no secret that drinking and driving is an extremely dangerous act. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15 percent of all drivers in 2011 that were involved in fatal crashes during the week were drunk driving crashes, and another 31 percent occurred on weekends. In fact, every single day in the United States, an average of 27 people typically die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

However, despite the fact that there have been many efforts put forth by organizations and law enforcement offices to help keep drunk drivers off the road, it is still predicted that one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash throughout their lifetime.

So, why do people continue to drink and drive if they know how dangerous and expensive the consequences can be?

Very few people who are caught driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) had the plan to drink and drive when they first set out for their evening. Instead, drunk driving often comes about due to a very poor combination of inebriated decision making and people thinking there are a lack of other options.

For example, when making plans to go out to the bar or to a party, everyone assumes that they will be fine to drive, or someone around them certainly will be, so they do not bother arranging for an alternate means of transportation home. Once the time comes when they realize that everyone around them is intoxicated, they are left with making an alcohol impaired decision about whether or not they can drive themselves. Unfortunately, most often people make the wrong decision when they are faced with this situation and opt to drive home intoxicated rather than call a cab or a friend to pick them up.

To further research this reasoning, a study conducted by the National Public Services Research Institute surveyed almost 600 people in order to look further into the decisions people made when they decided to drink and drive. The reasoning was broken down into the following categories:

  • 33% – Social Environment (Pressure from friends to drink more.)
  • 21% – Personal (A personal want to keep drinking.)
  • 15% – Occasion (Being placed in a situation where it is expected of you to drink.)
  • 9% – Normal Behavior (The situation is one that is not abnormal to the drinker.)
  • 8% – Previous Plans (Plans for drinking were pre-arranged.)
  • 6% – Responsibility (The feeling of personal responsibility to drink by yourself or others.)
  • 4% – Emotional (An emotional want to drink or get drunk.)
  • 3% – Economics (An economic reasoning for going out or drinking, often with colleagues.)

When each of these reasons is paired with a person’s failure to recognize that they are too impaired to drive, drinking and driving often becomes a common occurrence.

If you are someone you know has been arrested or pulled over for a DWI and are in need of a professional DWI lawyer in Texas, be sure to contact The Wilder Firm today. We can help face your charges and put the situation in your past for good.

Research: Source 1, Source 2

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