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Drunk driving deaths a continual problem

For several decades now, New York residents have benefited from the knowledge shared with them by advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Organizations like MADD have worked tirelessly to spread the word about just how dangerous it is to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. At the same time, laws have become stronger and penalties harsher for those people who are arrested for and convicted of drunk driving offenses.

Despite this, too many lives continue to be lost at the hands of negligent drunk drivers. In New York, during the five years spanning 2012 to 2016, drunk driving fatalities accounted for upwards of 31 percent of all vehicular fatalities every year. In this time frame, a total of 1,620 people were killed by impaired drivers across the state.

Some might have thought that the emergence of ride-sharing services could have brought some relief to this reality but a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology last summer indicates otherwise. In reviewing data from the 100 most-populous regions in the country over the span of 10 years, the study found that the access to Uber services had no impact on drunk driving deaths.

The study reviewed not only accidents in which alcohol was a factor but also incidents in which holidays or the 36-hour period spanning 5:00 p.m. on Fridays through 5:00 a.m. on Sundays were involved. One of the points made by the study was that strong drunk driving laws only seem to really matter if a person is caught driving drunk. Statistics show a large percent of drunk drivers are never actually found out.

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