According to the Florida Times-Union, the number of DUI accidents have remained more or less consistent between 2000 and 2007. That number fluctuates between about 22,000 and 24,000 each year, according to recently released stats. However, DUI-related deaths have been increasing by more than 19 percent. In 2000, there were 979. Last year, that number had increased to 1,169.
Attitudes towards drunk driving have shifted since the 1970s for several reasons. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was formed in 1980, insisting that law enforcement officials and the public take DUI more seriously. The national drinking age increased to 21, and 0.08 blood alcohol level became the standard across the country.
A nationwide roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1973 found that 7.5 percent of drivers had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. That figure fell to 2.2 percent in 2007. The executive director of MADD of North Florida said that future efforts to prevent drunk driving may focus more on education, rather than tightening the laws.