Alcohol Awareness Month: Avoid OWI, DUI, and DWI’s

April 25, 2014

You may not have heard, but April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. During the month of April the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (the NCADD, for short) is promoting programs that are aimed at increasing the awareness of the general public of facts and figures related to alcohol, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism. By building awareness, NCADD hopes to curb much of the negative behavior associated with alcohol consumption such as drinking and driving. But this month is about more than avoiding OWI’s, DUI’s, and DWI’s.

Why it’s Important to Support Alcohol Awareness Month

According to NCADD, alcohol is the most dangerous controlled substance to young people, due largely to its widespread use and ease of accessibility. They report that each year roughly 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and even more are seriously injured. They also stress that alcohol use by young people is directly related to higher rates of traffic fatalities, deaths, suicides, violence, and educational failure, among other serious issues.

While it seems like a lot of alcohol related issues affect only the drinker, there a number of studies and a broad set of data to illustrate that underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism all affect society in a much broader sense. Improper alcohol use has been shown to directly affect public (and personal) safety and has even been linked to an increased financial burden on tax payers in terms of prosecuting DUI’s, OWI’s, and DWI’s. That cost, combined with the cost of repairing damaged public property, DUI, OWI, and DWI safety checkpoints, and costs associated with probation enforcement (such as ignition interlock devices and electronic monitoring ankle bands) has been show to reach as much as $114 billion per year. Costs associated with underage drinking rack up an additional $62 billion, according to the NCADD website.

In addition to helping prevent underage drinking, helping young people remain safe, and curbing the development of alcoholism, promoting alcohol awareness month can also help bring these costs down and reduce the tax burden on tax payers. By helping others, we help ourselves.

Alcohol Awareness Month Goes Beyond Young Adults and Teens

Alcoholism can affect people of any age, but some studies have found that teens who take their first drink before they are 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism and other alcohol-related disorders. Alcohol Awareness Month aims to help recovering alcoholics as well as prevent teens and young adults from developing the disease through campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the signs of alcoholism, resources available to combat the disease, and tips for helping loved ones who may be struggling with alcoholism themselves.

Information about Alcohol Awareness Month

As we’ve said, there’s more to it than preventing an OWI, DUI, or DWI—though that’s an important part of it. Alcohol Awareness Month is about getting involved in your community as well as with your friends and family. It’s about getting properly educated about alcohol use and safety. So where can you go to get the information you need to talk to someone you love, be it a friend, husband, wife, or child, about alcohol use? We’ve pulled together some of the best online resources to help you out.

Alcohol Education, Abuse Prevention, and Community Organization Resources

Do you need to talk with someone about their use of alcohol? Whether you need to confront someone about potential alcoholism, or whether you need to talk to your teen about alcohol use, these sites will steer you in the right direction.

  • – the home of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Resources for talking to teens about alcohol use and drunk driving. Also provides victim services and resources.
  •—National Council for Alcohol and Drug Dependence. Resources for all kinds of substance addiction, sections for both parents and teens, and a section of the site dedicated specifically to alcohol use.
  • – The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, funded by distillers, offers information on drunk driving statistics by state.
  • NIAAA – the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. A site full of studies and research relating to alcohol use and abuse.

Learn More

Read more about blood alcohol monitoring, drunk driving prevention, and other driver safety issues in our Car Guides section.

Car Safety Guides

Safety is one of the most important aspects of a car. We’ve written a number of car safety guides to help you stay informed and brush up on some not-so-common driving knowledge. The safer you are, the less you pay.Read through the car safety guides below for tips on how to be the safest you can be in your car and on the road. Even if you’re a good driver, a little extra info can keep you that much safer.

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