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Gateway Reminder: 1 out of 3 Driving Fatalities Involve Alcohol

For Immediate Release
CHICAGO, December 20, 2013

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers urge adults hopping from one holiday gathering to the next to assign a designated driver for the night. And here's a sobering reminder why: According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's report on motor vehicle crashes, 10,322 people were killed due to alcohol-impaired driving in 2012, an increase of 6.7 percent from 2011.

Exceeding the national average, in the state of Illinois alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased 15 percent from 2011 to 2012:

  • In 2011, 918 killed with 278 (30 percent) involving alcohol-impaired driving.
  • In 2012, 956 killed with 321 (34 percent) fatalities involving alcohol-impaired driving.

"Because of drunk driving, thousands of American families will spend the holidays this year without their loved ones," says Michael Darcy, president, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment. "Driving under the influence of alcohol is never worth the risk of causing harm to oneself, to passengers as well as to other drivers. If you think you or a loved one has a drinking problem, it's important to address it before the consequences catch up."

Innocently Over-Served

Even conscientious drinkers who limit themselves to one or two alcoholic beverages while out on the town could easily find themselves beyond the legal limit for driving while unintentionally putting their health at risk.

For context, the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans say people who drink should do so in moderation, which means one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. The guidelines define a "drink" as 12 ounces of regular beer with 5 percent alcohol, 5 ounces of wine with 12 percent alcohol and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, which are 40 percent alcohol by volume.

"Drinks served in bars and restaurants often contain more alcohol than people realize. When you consider the alcohol volume, the size of the pour and the size of glass your drink arrives in, there can be a lot of variance," explains Darcy. "To steer clear of getting behind the wheel intoxicated, make sure a sober driver is on standby to get everyone home safely."

About Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Since 1968 our goal has been straightforward: to help clients get their life back on track and achieve a life of sobriety, free from drug use and symptoms of mental illness, that is productive, socially responsible, and healthy. Gateway Foundation is the largest nonprofit treatment provider in the country that specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders, providing treatment for men, women, adolescents, and clients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders.

Gateway's Community Division has treatment centers located throughout Illinois, including Carbondale, Chicago, Lake County, Fox Valley, Springfield, and the St. Louis Metro East area. These centers offer residential and outpatient treatment services for adults, teens, and adolescents accessed through insurance, state funding, and self-pay.

Gateway's professional clinicians help thousands of individuals successfully complete treatment by developing a personalized plan that treats the underlying causes of substance abuse—not just addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Learn more about insurance coverage, treatment options, or Gateway's confidential consultation at RecoverGateway.org or call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Reporters and Editors, for more information, please call Leslie Colman, Marketing Director, at 630-776-5725.