Spring Break Drinking

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In a play on a well-known beer slogan, an American Medical Association advertisement pictures an emergency room and warns spring break revelers: This Bed's for You.

The ad is running in college newspapers at eight selected campuses across the country. It's part of an AMA campaign to discourage high-risk drinking during spring break.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is supporting the ads, as are officials in Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach. They're campaigning against excessive and underage drinking and promising stricter law enforcement.

Andy Hindman, who is executive director of MADD'S Florida chapter, says it appears everyone is on the same page this year.

A few colleges have already started their spring breaks, but most will take them from mid-March through mid-April.

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Drunk Driving Statistics

  • Traffic fatalities in alcohol-related crashes rose by four-percent from 1999 to 2000.

  • The 16,653 alcohol-related fatalities in 2000 (40-percent of total traffic fatalities for the year) represent a 25-percent reduction from the 22,084 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1990 (50-percent of the total).

  • NHTSA estimates that alcohol was involved in 40-percent of fatal crashes and in eight percent of all crashes in 2000.

  • The 16,653 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2000 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 32 minutes.

  • An estimated 310,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every two minutes.

  • Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 1999 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

  • This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 121 licensed drivers in the United States.

  • About three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.

  • In 2000, 31-percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of 0.10 g/dl or greater. Sixty-nine-percent of the 12,892 people killed in such crashes were themselves intoxicated. The remaining 31-percent were passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated nonoccupants.

    Source: www.nhtsa.dot.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site) contributed to this report.