According to recent statistics (NHTSA, 2004), drunk driving accidents, automobile or motor vehicle crashes, car accidents due to drunk driving are the leading cause of death for people from 2 to 33 years old.
In 2003, 30 percent of all fatal drunk driving accidents or crashes during the week were alcohol-related, compared with 53 percent on weekends. For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate was 5 percent during the week and 12 percent during the weekend.
The impact of alcohol involvement increases with injury severity. Alcohol-involved or drunk driving accidents and crashes accounted for 10 percent of property damage only crash costs, 21 percent of nonfatal injury crashes; and 46 percent of fatal injury crash costs; more than 3 times as high at night as during the day (61 percent vs. 18 percent).
For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate is 5 times as high at night (16 percent vs. 3 percent).
Young drivers 21 to 24 years old were most likely to be intoxicated (BAC of 0.08 g/dl or greater) in drunk driving accidents and fatal crashes in 2003. Thirty-two percent of drivers 21 to 24 years old involved in drunk driving and fatal crashes were intoxicated, followed by ages 25 to 34 (27 percent) and 35 to 44 (24 percent).
The intoxication rate (those over .08 BAC) for male drivers involved in fatal crashes was 25 percent, compared with 12 percent for female drivers.
For drunk driving accidents and fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3:00 AM, 77 percent involved alcohol in 2003. The next most dangerous time period for alcohol-related crash deaths were 9 PM to midnight (64 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol), followed by 3 AM to 6 AM (60 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol).
Those drivers over the age of 70 were least likely to be intoxicated (BAC of 0.08 g/dl or greater) in drunk driving accident and fatal crashes in 2003 – only five percent were intoxicated.