Driving under the influence in Pennsylvania and other states is a perplexing, persistent problem. With all of the public service announcements, not to mention the severe penalties that come with a drunk driving conviction, it might seem that society would get a handle on this problem. The fact is, though, that DUIs and other similar offenses remain a steady problem across the nation.

One good piece of news is that drunk driving deaths are lower now than a few decades ago. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the figure of 10, 511 drunk-driving crashes resulting in deaths in 2018 is about a third lower than three decades ago. This works out to about every third death from a driving crash in the U.S. is related to alcohol use. These deaths are often cited as preventable, as they are the result of bad judgment on the part of drivers. The steps to take to prevent drunk driving crashes are worth repeating:

  • If you expect to drink, plan a safe ride home ahead of time
  • Do not let people you know drive drunk
  • If you host a party, make sure all intoxicated guests have a safe way home
  • When in doubt, call a taxi or ride-sharing service

Drug impairment, particularly with the expansion of marijuana legality, is another concern for those on the road. According to NHTSA, a variety of substances result in impaired driving. Each driver should be aware of prescription and non-prescription drugs that can degrade driving ability. These substances include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, sedatives, muscle relaxants and anti-depressants. Even being under the influence of legal drugs can result in a citation.