Maryland was one of 32 states that decreased their number of drunk driving fatalities, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report issued yesterday. Drunk driving deaths in Maryland declined by 10, a 5.3% decrease. The national average was a 3.7% decrease.
This is good news. The bad news is that almost 13,000 people were killed in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents where the driver was shown to have a BAC of .08 or higher. If we took the money spent on the Bay Bridge and put it into more drunk driving checkpoints, we only save about 20 times the number of lives.
More troubling news was that the number of motorcycle drivers killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents increased by 7.5 percent. The government has been doing a good job pushing the motorcycle accident issue head-on, featuring motorcycle accidents in their $13 million advertising campaign to attack the drug driving accident problem that comes on Labor Day weekend.
A number of states did not follow the national trend. Drunk driving deaths increased in Washington, D.C. and Virginia as well as Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.