New drunk driving data shows a national increase in incidents

Experts try to find ways to reduce drunk driving fatalities
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 5:10 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -Drunk driving deaths saw a 14% increase nationally from 2020 to 2021. That’s according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They released new 2021 figures for drunk driving deaths last week.

“In Wisconsin, at least in 2021, 199 people were killed in drunk driving crashes and it continues on,” said Frank Harris with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.

Tina Baeten, the Clinical Director at the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay, says most drunk driving arrests happen within 25 miles of the driver’s house. While there are several contributing factors, she highlights a few specific reasons.

“In the 32 years I’ve been doing this, alcohol use in general is significant. It certainly has increased since Covid. I think because more people are eager to get out and be more social.”

She wants to remind people to have a plan before going out drinking.

“Have a designated driver, or have an Uber or Lyft,” said Baeten. “We have a lot of options now that we didn’t have in the past.”