Repeat offenders and high-BAC drivers are increasing causing a large number of DUI-related roadway fatalities. - Graphic courtesy of GHSA.

Repeat offenders and high-BAC drivers are increasing causing a large number of DUI-related roadway fatalities.

Graphic courtesy of GHSA.

Some 29% of all roadway deaths were alcohol-impaired fatalities and one-third of those were caused by repeat offenders in 2018, according to a new report released by the Governor's Highway Safety Association in partnership with Responsibility.org.

In addition to repeat offenders, high blood alcohol concentration offenders are another high-risk group accountable for more than 60% of alcohol-impaired fatalities. In 2018, 66% of drivers involved in fatal crashes had a BAC greater than 0.15 g/dL.

Motorists who have consumed a combination of alcohol and drugs comprise the third subset of the high-risk impaired group. In the last decade, there has been a 16% increase in the number of impaired drivers killed in crashes that tested positive for both alcohol and other drugs, notes the report.

The goal of the report is to help State Highway Safety Offices effectively address the problem of high-risk impaired drivers through a systemic and holistic approach that treats the underlying problem that prompts the unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

For example, the report makes recommendations on how the state offices can implement promising approaches including DUI treatment courts, data sharing and e-warrants, toxicology labs and screening and assessments.

Rather than the traditional approach, which is to catch, convict, punish and release the offender, the GHSA report identifies strategies that treat the cause of the offender's behavior with the objective of reducing recidivism and promoting long-term behavior change.

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