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I was recently reading a report from the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation about something that is plaguing our nation, drinking and driving. Within one day I had two friends describe to me their recent accidents involving a drunk driver who hit them, and both were extremely lucky to have lived. A good friend of mine this past summer was not so lucky in Colorado when he and his wife were struck and killed by a rdunk driver going the wrong direction on the interstate with his lights off.

It is amazing to me that in addition to the potential human costs of drunk driving, the financial costs affect all of us. By no means do I mean to diminish the loss of families of victims who are killed each year in traffic crashed caused by drunk drivers. Rather, I was astonished at the cost to Americans for drunk driving, Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation estimates that drinking and driving costs Americans around $132 Billion each year. On average that is $400 per man, woman, and child! It costs employers around $10 billion for work trips and crashes outside of work that still impact productivity. In Oklahoma, we have started to take measures to help curb the impacts of drinking and driving and earned 3 stars on MADDs rating system (out of 5). There are many additional steps needed but the biggest thing we all can do is not drink and drive ourselves, and if we see a friend or loved one getting ready to, speak up, you could save a life, possibly your own.

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