Drinking-Driver Problem--What Can Be Done About It?
CED-79-33: Published: Feb 21, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1979.
- Full Report:
Drinking of alcoholic beverages has become a commonly accepted lifestyle throughout most of the world. In the United States, 71 percent of the adults have identified themselves as drinkers and, since 1935, per capita consumption has increased 110 percent for beer, 347 percent for wine, and 183 percent for distilled spirits. This drinking lifestyle has long been recognized for its tragic contribution to highway deaths and related injuries and property damage. Government at all levels, private organizations, and concerned citizen groups are spending millions of dollars on various drinking-driver programs, yet statistics continue to indicate that, overall, one-half of highway fatalities in the United States are related to alcohol.
Research on alcohol abuse and the drinking-driver problem, Federal project evaluations, and views of individuals knowledgeable in the traffic safety field led GAO to conclude that society's general acceptance of drinking and driving is the main obstacle to solving the drinking-driver problem. Before any significant reduction in alcohol-related traffic accidents will occur, a long term continuous educational commitment must be made. Governments, educational institutions, and the general public need to work together to change attitudes about drinking and driving.