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Drunk driving is the nation's most frequently committed
 violent crime.
In 1990, more than half of the fatal car accidents in this country
were related to alcohol, killing 22,083 people. This is the
equivalent of a fully loaded 747 crashing. Three times a week.
Every week. . .
In 1995, an estimated 17,274 persons died in alcohol-related traffic
 crashes--an average of one every 32 minutes. (NHTSA, 1996)
In the past decade, four times as many Americans died in drunk
driving crashes as were killed in the Vietnam War. (NHTSA, 1995)
Eight young people a day die in alcohol-related crashes.
 (CSAP, 1996)
Half of all teenage fatalities are alcohol-related.
About two in every five Americans will be involved in an
alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives. (NHTSA, 1996)
About a third of all drivers arrested for DWI are repeat
offenders according to data gathered from 12 states. (NHTSA, 1995)
In 1995, in Montana, 42.3% of the traffic fatalities were
alcohol related.
21-34 Year old drinking drivers comprise approximately half
of all the drunk drivers involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes,
and have the highest blood alcohol concentrations
 (BACs) in fatal crashes. (NCADD)
Approximately 79 percent of legally drunk drivers have
BACs greater than .15 and 52 percent exceed .20. (NCDD, Dec. 1996)
Drivers with BACs over .15 are more than 200 times
more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than non-drinking
drivers, and those with BACs over .20 are 460 times more
 likely. (NCDD, 1996)
These hard core drunk drivers account for only one percent
 of all drivers on the road at night and on weekends, while
representing nearly half of all fatal crashes at that time.
(NCDD, Dec. 1996)
The cost for each injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash
averaged $67,000, including $6,000 in health care costs and
 $13,000 in lost productivity. (Miller, 1996b)
A drunk driving crash costs innocent victims $26,000.
Comparable crime costs per victim: assault--$19,000;
robbery--$13,000; motor vehicle theft--$4,000.
97% of people who are of driving age consider drinking
and driving by others a threat to themselves and their families.
(NHTSA, 1996)
Nearly three out of four (72%) of the driving age public think
 that penalities for drinking and driving should be more severe.
Of those, nearly half think they should be much more severe.
(NHTSA, 1996)
A plurality of the American public considers drunk driving
the major highway safety problem in the country, according to
 a recent Gallup survey. (MADD, 1994)
Sixty-three percent said it would be a good or excellent
idea to raise the penalty for bars and restaurants that
serve alcoholic drinks to individuals who are already intoxicated.
(IRC, 1993)