Nevada Alcohol Awareness

by: Mike Miller

I spend a good deal of time driving in the state of Nevada. Actually, as a teacher for alcohol awareness classes, I spend a good deal of time driving all over this great country. Nevada always has struck me as a pretty safe state to drive in.

Nevada Highway Patrol Does Its Job

I give a lot of credit to the safe feeling to the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP). It seems like the state of Nevada has done a great job staffing the NHP. I mean this both that the officers they have seem well-trained (I should know as I have been pulled over for speeding in that great state), but they are abundant (hence me getting nailed for going 75 in a 70 zone on I-25).

Because there are so many officers people drive more slowly. Interstate 25 is an open road with people generally staying within 5 miles per hour of the posted speed limit (which changes every 3 miles or so).

Nevadans Are Being Very Naughty

Despite my belief that Nevada is a safe place to drive, recent statistics prove otherwise. Last year more than 20,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Nevada. This number has increased steadily each year.

In 2006 it was estimated that a little less than 1 out of every 100 drivers in the state of Nevada was arrested for drunken driving. I am sure local authorities were puzzled by this number asking themselves it could possibly be true. Low and behold the figures come out for 2008 showing the ratio has gotten worse with 1 out of every 88 arrested for DUI.

In Washoe County, home to “Biggest Little City in the World” (self-proclaimed-AKA Reno), the rate of DUI arrests increased more than 50% from 200 to 2008.

These are alarming figures. State authorities are supposedly getting their best minds together for a social think tank to decide how to curb this alarming trend.