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Statistics from 2014, the most recent year of complete data, show that drunk driving fell to its lowest rate since 2002. Despite this, experts say that there is still a lot of work to do in Georgia and across the country to save the thousands of lives that are lost to alcohol-related crashes each year.

The latest drunk driving data is available in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It shows that 11.1 percent of drivers aged 16 and older confessed to federal interviewers that they had driven while under the influence of alcohol in 2014. By comparison, 15.3 percent of drivers admitted to this in 2002. These are fairly positive numbers despite the fact that survey participants might have a different idea of what impairment is or may be hesitant to admit to illegal behavior to a federal interviewer. The survey has used the same procedures since 2002.

In addition to alcohol, the rates for other impaired driving types also fell. In 2014, 4.1 percent admitted to driving with one or more illegal drugs in their system, and 2.4 percent admitted to driving on both alcohol and illegal drugs. By comparison, these figures were 5 and 3.3 percent respectively in 2002.

According to the survey, young adults between 21 and 25 are the most likely to drive while impaired. Since 2002, however, this age group has had the biggest drop in drunk driving prevalence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributes the decline to ignition interlock systems, public awareness campaigns and stronger laws. Ride-sharing services such as Uber could also be helping, but not all experts agree.

Anyone who is pulled over for and charged with DUI could face major penalties. Repeat offenders may be facing incarceration for lengthy periods, which is why having the help of a criminal defense attorney when seeking to refute the charge can be advisable.

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