MAINE, USA — An average of 28 people are in drunk-driving crashes every day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That's one person every 52 minutes.
In 2018, 42 of the state's 140 motor vehicle-related deaths were due to drunk driving, responsibility.org says.
According to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, more than 20,000 people died in car crashes nationwide in the first six months of 2021. That's the most significant six-month increase on record. While not all of those deaths were due to drunk or impaired driving, the bureau urges people who plan on celebrating the new year to plan before they get behind the wheel.
The number of motor vehicle-related deaths increased across the country but has declined in Maine.
"That is a reason to celebrate, but again, each one of those numbers is a person," Maine Bureau of Highway Safety Director Lauren Stewart said. "We want to save as many lives as possible and see those numbers go down to zero ideally."
To stay safe this New Year's, experts say to drive the speed limit, designate a sober driver, know what the weather will be like, and look out for other drivers. If you see someone driving drunk or impaired, call 911.