Drunk Driving Statistics

In 2006, there were 13,470 fatalities in crashes involving an

alcohol-impaired

driver (BAC of .08 or higher) – 32 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.

16,005 people were killed in the United States in

alcohol-related*

motor vehicle traffic crashes (BAC of .01 or higher).

In 2006, 1,794 children age 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those 1,794 fatalities, 306 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Children riding in vehicles with drivers who had a BAC level of .08 or higher accounted for half (153) of these deaths.

The 13,470 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in 2006 were almost the same as compared to 13,451 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities reported in 1996.  Ten years of progress.

The 13,470 fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during 2006 represent an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 39 minutes.

The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was four times higher at night than during the day.

The percentage of drivers with BAC of .08 or above in fatal crashes was highest for motorcycle operators (27 percent), followed by light trucks (24 percent), and then passenger cars (23 percent). The percentage of drivers with BAC levels of .08 or higher in fatal crashes was the lowest for large trucks (1%).

In fatal crashes in 2006, the highest percentage of drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher was for drivers ages 21-24 (33%), followed by ages 25-34 (29%) and 35-44 (25%).

Drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher involved in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) than were drivers with no alcohol (8% and 1%, respectively).

In 2006, more than 8,200 (55%) of the drivers involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking had a BAC of .15 or greater.

In 2006, males comprise a majority, about 81 percent, of all drivers involved in fatal crashes with a BAC=.08+.

The 16,694 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2004 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality

every 31 minutes

.

In 2004, 21 percent of the children age 14 and younger who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were killed in alcohol-related crashes.

An estimated 248,000 people were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately

every 2 minutes

.

Blood Alcohol Level

When you drink, alcohol goes directly from the stomach into the bloodstream and then to liver, heart and brain. Because alcohol is not digested but absorbed fast in your blood, you typically feel the effects of alcohol quite quickly, especially if you haven’t eaten in a while. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your blood alcohol levels will rise. The BAC limit for drivers age 21 and older in most countries is 0.10 percent, and 0.08 percent in the US . To understand the effects of alcohol on driving, look at the following levels of alcohol intoxication:

  • 0.02%

    - relaxation, the ability to divide attention between two or more sources of visual information can be impaired, capacity of correctly judge the speed and distance is affected;
  • 0.05%

    - mild intoxication, inhibitions go away, visual perception is affected, reaction time grows, problems with responding quickly to traffic stimuli;
  • 0.10%

    - obvious intoxication on most people, attention and control are getting more impaired, slowing of reflexes, slowed thinking and coordination; driving skills are significantly impaired;
  • 0.20%

    - double vision, memory loss, not able to walk, vomiting, incontinence, high risk of accidents;
  • 0.30%

    - extreme intoxication, cool body temperature, tremors, not able to drive;
  • 0.40%

    - coma, unconsciousness, little response to stimuli, poor respiration, clammy skin;
  • 0.50%

    - possible death.

Source: alcoholalert.com