Labor Day Fourth Deadliest Holiday for Drunk Driving

As summer winds down, Americans are looking forward to Labor Day—the last holiday of the season and last chance to wear white. But a wardrobe faux pas isn’t the only thing to worry about during the holiday weekend. With 298 average traffic fatalities a year, Labor Day may mark the end of summer, but it is also the fourth most dangerous weekend to be on the roads.

States with the Most Labor Day Drunk Driving Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 40% of traffic deaths during the 2015 Labor Day holiday weekend involved alcohol, with 23% involving drivers with a BAC of 0.15+. But some states are more dangerous than others when it comes to drunk driving fatalities.

With 12 drunk driving deaths, research from Finder shows California is the most dangerous state to be on the road during Labor Day weekend. Missouri follows close behind with 10 deaths and Texas in third at nine deaths. And with 67% of alcohol-involved Labor Day traffic fatalities occurring between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., night time is the deadliest time to be on the road.

Celebrating Safely

Drunk driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Follow these tips to safely celebrate Labor Day and the end of summer:

  • Plan on commemorating summer’s end with an alcoholic drink or two? Don’t wait until after you start drinking to figure out how you will get home—plan your sober ride home ahead of time.
  • Whether it is a sober friend, ride-sharing service, or cab, make sure you know your options and set a backup plan in case your plans change.
  • Can’t find a safe way home? Check with friends or family to see if you can stay the night.

Visit this Summer Drinking and DUIs Resource Center to find more statistics on summer drunk driving and additional tips to celebrate the last holiday of summer safely.

The post Labor Day Fourth Deadliest Holiday for Drunk Driving appeared first on Sobering Up.

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Friends, Frats, & Freedom: A Recipe for College Binge Drinking

College isn’t just eating pizza in dorm rooms, studying on the quad, and writing reports. Thanks to movies like Old School, Van Wilder, and Animal House, the word “college” is pretty much synonymous with “drinking.” But, college drinking extends past the occasional beer pong match and toga party.

According to SAMHSA’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 58% of full-time college students drank alcohol in the past month. And with about 20% of college students meeting the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, parties and drinking can be a dangerous hobby for undergrads, especially for freshmen.

College Freshmen Particularly At-Risk

Starting college is an exciting time for freshmen, but the stress of new environments, schedules, and a lack of friends to watch out for them puts them particularly at risk for dangerous drinking behaviors. As college freshmen exercise their newfound freedom and oftentimes little knowledge of the dangers of alcohol, they are susceptible to binge drinking a deadly amount, as is the case with a Texas Tech freshman who died of alcohol poisoning before his first day of classes.

In fact, alcohol is often a factor in freshman deaths, assaults, and injuries. Sometimes referred to as the “red zone,” the first two months are some of the most hazardous weeks for first-year students. But some colleges are beginning to recognize this dangerous adjustment period and have created awareness and training programs to educate students on safety precautions—many of which are required before classes begin.

College Binge Drinking Statistics

Early college drinking behaviors can have long-term impacts. Freshmen who develop unhealthy relationships with alcohol could put themselves at risk for their undergraduate career. Not only do underage drinkers account for more than 10% of the country’s alcohol consumption, but researchers estimate that 1,825 college students aged 18–24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries and car crashes.

Additionally, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that over 150,000 college students will develop an alcohol-related health problem, and about 1.5% try to commit suicide due to drinking or drug use.

Over-consumption is still prevalent across campuses everywhere and college students still have some of the highest levels of binge drinking compared to other age groups. But college binge drinking rates are slowly declining. In fact, binge drinking rates have dropped steadily since 1991, and have even decreased by 21% over the past decade. So, while films featuring the stereotypical beer-guzzling frat boy probably won’t disappear anytime soon, binge drinking may someday become a thing of the past for college co-eds.


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