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July 2, 2002
Contact: CDC, National Center For Injury Prevention
and Control
(770) 488–4902

Press Release

New CDC study shows stronger state prevention activities may discourage alcohol-impaired driving

Strong state activities designed to prevent driving under the influence (DUI) may reduce the incidence of drinking and driving, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study published in the June issue of Injury Prevention, finds self-reported cases of drinking and driving were linked with the strength of state activities to prevent DUI.

Alcohol-impaired driving is a serious public health problem in the United States. Each year, alcohol is involved in nearly 40 percent of all traffic-related deaths," said David Fleming, M.D., MPH, acting CDC director. "These deaths can be prevented and this study suggests that activities such as enacting stricter DUI legislation and enforcement by states may reduce alcohol-impaired driving."

CDC analyzed data collected from a national telephone survey, the 1997 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Rating the States 2000 survey, which graded states on their DUI countermeasures from 1996-1999. Results showed that residents of states with a MADD grade of "D" were 60 percent more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than were residents from states with a MADD grade of "A".

The CDC study also found 4.2 percent of the residents who consume alcohol reported they had driven after having too much to drink during the previous month. Men were nearly three times as likely as women to report alcohol-impaired driving. Single people were about 50 percent more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than married people or people living with a partner. MADD based the grades on 11 categories that included legislation involving DUI and underage drinking, political leadership, availability of statistics and records, resources devoted to enforcing DUI laws, administrative penalties and criminal sanctions, regulatory control and availability of alcohol prevention and education, and victim compensation and support.

"An alcohol-related motor vehicle crash kills someone every 33 minutes and a nonfatal injury occurs every two minutes," said Sue Binder, MD, Director of CDC's Injury Center. "This study helps us understand what works to reduce these terrible tragedies."

Editor's Note: For more information about CDC's Injury Programs visit:
www.cdc.gov/ncipc

For specific information about CDC's work in alcohol-impaired driving, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/spotlite/3d.htm#facts.

For more information or a copy of MADD's Rating the States 2000 report, visit the MADD web site at: http://www.madd.org/news/0,1056,1280,00.html.

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CDC protects people’s health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national and international organizations.


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