Decline Watch: Can Americans afford to drive drunk anymore?

Drunk driving incidents have fallen 30 percent over the last five years. How can this possibly be a sign of decline, you ask? The AP’s Mike Stobbe, via Gawker, explains: The decline may be due to the down economy: Other research suggests people are still drinking as heavily as in years past, so some may ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
548889_drunk2.jpg
548889_drunk2.jpg

Drunk driving incidents have fallen 30 percent over the last five years. How can this possibly be a sign of decline, you ask? The AP's Mike Stobbe, via Gawker, explains:

The decline may be due to the down economy: Other research suggests people are still drinking as heavily as in years past, so some may just be finding cheaper ways of imbibing than by going to bars, night clubs and restaurants.

"One possibility is that people are drinking at home more and driving less after drinking," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drunk driving incidents have fallen 30 percent over the last five years. How can this possibly be a sign of decline, you ask? The AP’s Mike Stobbe, via Gawker, explains:

The decline may be due to the down economy: Other research suggests people are still drinking as heavily as in years past, so some may just be finding cheaper ways of imbibing than by going to bars, night clubs and restaurants.

“One possibility is that people are drinking at home more and driving less after drinking,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Decline-o-meter: Giving this a neutral score both for the uncertainty of the premise and the fact that, despite the reasons, this obviously isn’t a bad thing. 

Something doesn’t quite add up though. If Americans are getting their drink on at home to save money, shouldn’t there be an increase in the sales of inexpensive beers? As we noted last week, beer sales are down except in hoity-toity categories like microbrews and imports. 

In any case, don’t drink and drive whatever your income. America’s roads are dangerous enough already.  

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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