4 Things People Know About Drunk Driving — And One They Don’t

Most Americans appear to have a clue about drunk driving, if a recent survey by Anheuser-Busch is to be believed. The St. Louis-based company joined forces with Harris Poll to survey almost 2000 Americans last month. The topic: drinking and blood alcohol.

The survey found that: Young driver with bottle in hand sleeps in the car.

  • 61% of respondents knew of the .08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) limit for drunk driving
  • 82% knew that BAC could rise even after a person stops drinking
  • 88% knew that the alcohol content of beer, wine and hard liquor can vary
  • 83 percent could name at least one way to moderate one’s blood alcohol level, such as eating or not drinking too fast

But if you were thinking that these findings prove that our populace is enlightened when it comes to impaired driving, think again. Seattle DUI prosecutors are finding that, due to the recent legalization of pot in the state, there’s a common misconception that it’s all right to drive high. Even before legalization, Seattle prosecutors Megan Hastings and Miriam Norman claimed it was “an uphill battle to convince a jury in marijuana DUI cases.”

Apparently juries are unwilling to believe that driving high on marijuana is as serious as driving drunk. The facts are out there (quick summary: it’s very dangerous to drive high), but they’re not well known enough. Apparently police, legislators, DMVs, road safety advocates and parents have a lot of work ahead of them.