For years, South Dakota has struggled with its reputation of having an astronomically high number of alcohol-related car accidents. From actions lowering the legal blood alcohol content level from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent to increased funding for DUI enforcement, the early years of the new millennium saw a significant change in behavior.
For years since, however, the tumbling alcohol-related crash numbers stalled and remained steady throughout 2012. While ending drinking and driving has become a more prominent social issue, it was not clear if anything was actually getting through to residents of our state—until recently.
A recent news story revealed that over the past two years, alcohol-related crashes have been declining at a steady rate—2014 had 110 fewer crashes than 2013, which saw 150 fewer crashes than 2012.
The South Dakota Highway Safety Program says that enforcement efforts have remained steady, and that the change may actually be the result of awareness among residents. Increasing options for safe ways to get home after a night out have helped, offering many people an easy way to enjoy responsible drinking.
While progress has been made, South Dakota Highway Safety Program coordinator Eric Majeres says that there is still a lot of work to be done, including making a focused effort toward educating teens on making good decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption and driving.
A problem that has long plagued our state is beginning to improve, making our roads safer for everyone. Have you made special efforts over the last few years to make a plan to get home safely from a night out? What is your go-to method to get a ride home—cabs? A designated driver? Share your favorites with us on Facebook today!
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