In recent years, America’s heroin epidemic frequently gains the spotlight — and headlines — when drug threats facing America are discussed. However, America’s greatest drug threat — the one identified by three-quarters of Americans as a serious problem in their community — is not heroin. In fact, America’s greatest drug threat is alcohol, a legal substance that significantly endangers the lives of ordinary Americans and their communities.
Alcohol: America’s Greatest Drug Threat
According to prominent polls, 76% of Americans view alcohol as either a moderately serious, very serious or severe problem in their community. Painkillers rank second at 67% percent, with “other drugs” coming in third at 64%. Heroin and marijuana each were seen as a community problem by 53% of respondents.
An easy way to explain these findings is that many more Americans drink than do drugs. As a result, the typical American community experiences the harms of alcohol far more frequently than it feels the impact of heroin use and similar deadly drugs.
Making matters worse, while alcohol is a legal substance, drinking and driving is a violation of Alabama law. Given the prevalence of drunk driving in the state, this legal substance quickly turns deadly when used to drive under the influence. In fact, in a simple comparison, drunk drivers are far more dangerous than stoned drivers, according to the latest federal data.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers who “use marijuana are at a significantly lower risk” of a crash than drivers who consume alcohol. The study finds that using marijuana, painkillers, sedatives, antidepressants or any other illegal drug does not cause a significant statistical change to the risk of an accident. Alcohol, on the other hand, increases the risk of an accident almost seven-fold when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.05 or higher. Alabama is no exception to this trend.
Alabama Drunk Driving Accidents and Deaths
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Alabama suffered from 5,398 alcohol related crashes, 2,657 alcohol-related crash injuries and 264 drunk driving fatalities in 2014. These fatalities represented nearly 1 out of every three traffic deaths.
Additionally, the state saw 14,138 DUI arrests and almost 10,000 DUI convictions in 2014, which undoubtedly minimized the likelihood of even greater harm. Sadly, these statistics are not just raw numbers.
The data on the dangers of alcohol in Alabama directly translates to thousands of lives that were injured and killed needlessly. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driving accident in Alabama, you may be entitled to legal compensation.
Alabama injury attorney Noel B. Leonard represents drunk driving victims in the city of Foley from his office in Foley. Additionally, he serves the residents of Baldwin, Mobile, and Escambia Counties. Contact attorney Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation with a lawyer who will do everything possible to ensure you receive compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver’s negligence.