A new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 1 in 5 drivers have driven their vehicles within 2 hours of drinking alcohol in the last year. The poll focused on people’s self-reporting of their drinking and driving habits and over-sampled teenagers and young adults – the group reported to do the most binge drinking. The CDC reports that 50% of U.S. adults are current regular drinkers – defined as at least 12 drinks in the past year. Americans like to relax with a drink, and alcohol may even have some heath benefits, but alcohol was a factor in 11,773 out of 37,261 U.S. traffic fatalities in 2008. How often do you get behind the wheel after you’ve had a few drinks? When do you decide if you’ve had too much to drink to drive your car?
Dr. Mark Morocco, Associate Residency Director for Emergency Medicine, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center