Sometimes, mothers do know best

By Matt Huang, PULSE

The organization, ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving’ (MADD) was created to prevent, and spread awareness about the consequences of drunk driving, and prevent underage drinking. MADD is the nation’s largest non-profit combating this issue.

Image adapted under Creative Commons courtesy of Annika Lidne/

Image adapted under Creative Commons courtesy of Annika Lidne/

Did you know?

The following statistics from MADD’s website reveal just how big of an issue this is for young people, especially college students and recent graduates.

1) In 2010, the rate of drunk driving was highest among persons aged 21 to 25 (23.4 percent). And about 15.1 percent of 18 to 20 year olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year.

2) In fatal crashes in 2010, the highest percentage of drunk drivers was for drivers ages 21 to 24 (34 percent).

3) The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. Only time will sober a person up. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower will not help.

4) The speed of alcohol absorption affects the rate at which one becomes drunk. Unlike foods, alcohol does not have to be slowly digested. As a person drinks faster than the alcohol can be eliminated, the drug accumulates in the body, resulting in higher and higher levels of alcohol in the blood.

5) A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 72-proof distilled spirits, all of which contain the same amount of alcohol – about .54 ounces.

6) Impairment is not determined by the type of drink, but rather by the amount of alcohol ingested over a specific period of time.

7) In 2010, 16 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes during the week were drunk driving crashes, compared to 31 percent on weekends.

8) In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 53 minutes.

9) Almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.

10) An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.

11) In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Out of those 211 deaths, 131 (62 percent) were riding with the drunk driver.

Image used under Creative Commons courtesy of mangee/

Image used under Creative Commons courtesy of mangee/

Don’t become a statistic!

If you are over 21, and choose to consume alcohol, make sure you do so safely! Here are some quick tips to avoid a potentially dangerous situation:

1) Always have a designated driver when you know you will be drinking.

2) Have a cab number in your phone ahead of time, just in case. There are also many free or reduced cost Late Night Transportation options offered through University of Michigan!

3) Don’t get into the car if you know the driver has been drinking, and don’t let friends drive drunk–they will thank you for it later.

To learn more about drunk driving, check out or the CDC’s Impaired Driving Factsheet.

And stay tuned for a follow-up post discussing ‘Stay in the Blue’, a U of M movement promoting safe drinking practices.


MADD. April 2013. Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 13 April. 2013 <;.


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