From the Health District: Drinking and Driving: A Public Health Concern

plainville health districtTis the season to celebrate. It is time for outside fun and festivities, such as proms, graduations, and barbecues. The Plainville Southington Health District  stresses the importance of being responsible while celebrating, especially when behind the wheel.

Alcohol impairs your ability to drive. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurred every 52 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.

“Don’t drink and drive,” said Shane Lockwood, PSHD Director of Health. “Not only is it the law, but consuming alcohol is also a public health concern.”

Alcohol use also contributes to deaths from liver disease and certain cancers. It has been associated with injuries from falls, drownings, burns and domestic violence. It enhances risky sexual behaviors, which can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. It plays a significant role in the social and medical problems in the United States.

Lockwood said, “Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption will help to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities each year. It will help to cut down on medical costs by improving the overall health of our community and our nation.”

By not drinking too much you can reduce the incidence of short and long term risks such as:

* Heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems

* Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon and breast

* Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety

* Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at


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