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The United States Of Drunk Driving

Illustration for article titled The United States Of Drunk Driving

Here are the top 20 cities in America ranked by the share of their drivers with an alcohol-related offense on their traffic record. What do they have in common? Tough cops, limited public transit and colleges.


The data compiled by looked at applications for car insurance among drivers from the largest U.S. cities. The two cities with the highest percentage of drivers with a alcohol infraction on their record were San Diego and San Jose; both sport lots of universities and colleges (young people are more likely to drive drunk), large metro areas where most residents drive and aggressive enforcement such as drunk driving checkpoints.

Deaths from drunks behind the wheel declined 7.4% last year, but still accounted for a third of all traffic deaths in the United States, despite a steady toughening of laws and penalties against it. In New York, driving drunk with children in the car is now a felony offense, a step advocacy groups want to see spread across the country. But several experts contend major progress won't happen until alcohol detection sensors are built into cars, a step that's still years away and raises a number of privacy concerns as well as concerns over the systems efficacy.



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What do they have in common? Tough cops, limited public transit and colleges.

Except for New York City (#17), which has public transit out the wazoo. Or are the subway conductors getting hammered, too?

Seriously, though, the one thing I love most about Europe is that I can drink as much bier as I want and still get home safely, legally, and without much effort, and without getting behind the wheel of an automobile. Want to start a grassroots campaign for public transit in the good old USA? Start talking up the subject in our nation's umpty-bazillion bars. I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate not having to worry about his or her BAC every time they go out to party.