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New federal data shows that in the U.S., the rate at which drivers operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is at a 13-year low.

Drunk driving is a problem in Mississippi and the U.S. that injures and kills many drivers, passengers and pedestrians on a daily basis. Although intoxicated driving still puts others at risk, new data from the federal government shows that in 2014, which is the most recent year for which data is available, the drunken driving rate in the country fell to a 13-year low. When the National Survey on Drug Use and Health was conducted in 2014, 11.1 percent of people in the U.S. over the age of 16 admitted they had operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the previous year.

Researchers are unable to pinpoint one single factor for this decrease in drunken driving rates. However, it is believed that stronger drunken driving laws, ignition interlock systems that prevent convicted drunk drivers from starting their car if intoxicated and public awareness campaigns could be responsible for the rate of drunken driving going down.

Why the data might not be reliable

While this data shows that drunk driving rates may be falling, the information may not be completely reliable. Since those who participated in this study provided their own answers, they may have different opinions about what constitutes impairment. Additionally, participants may have been hesitant to report that they had participated in illegal behavior. However, the same methodology for this study has been used since 2002, which contributes to its reliability.

Drunk driving remains a problem

In Mississippi and throughout the country, drunk driving is responsible for harming many people on a daily basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the U.S., 28 people are killed in a drunk driving-related accident. This equates to one death every 53 minutes.

Every day in the country, more than 300,000 people also drive intoxicated, states the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization. However, only about 3,200 of these drivers are arrested for doing so. Additionally, approximately one-third of those arrested or convicted for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol have a prior DUI conviction on their record.

Reach out to an attorney

Those who are injured in a drunk driving-related accident may suffer serious mental, emotional and physical injuries that harm their ability to live a normal daily life. Those in Mississippi in this situation should contact an attorney in their area who can help them assert their right to fair and proper compensation.