Drunk Driving Fact Sheet

The purpose of this drunk driving fact sheet is to present facts about drunk driving and the consequences, and to provide information to dispel myths about drunk driving.

Drunk driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle (car, bus, truck, moped, etc.) after consuming alcohol.

  1. In 2003, 42,643 fatalities were caused by vehicle crashes. Of those, 17,013 (40 percent) were alcohol related.
  2. A crash is alcohol related if any driver, pedestrian or passenger involved has any trace of alcohol or there is suspicion of alcohol usage.
  3. Intoxicated victims of car crashes sustain worse injuries and are more likely to be seriously injured than sober victims, according to a study by the University of Michigan.
  4. Several factors influence the risk of a crash, including blood alcohol concentration, which can vary from one person to another. Other factors include age, gender, alcohol tolerance and whether medication was combined with alcohol.
  5. Police officers can suspend your driver's license immediately if you are caught driving drunk.
  6. Drinking coffee will not sober you up. Time is the only thing that will get alcohol out of your system.
  7. There are different classifications of drunk driving offenses. One is DWI, or driving while impaired. Another is DUI, driving under the influence (of alcohol or other drugs).
  8. It is estimated that 30 percent, or 3 out of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lifetime.
  9. You may feel fine, but drinking has a serious effect on your ability to drive. Alcohol consumption affects eye movement, reaction time, the ability to multi-task and coordination.
  10. Alcohol may affect a driver differently every time they drive, depending on a number of factors, including what they have eaten, mood, metabolism and level of fatigue.
  11. A 12-oz. can of beer, a 5-oz. glass of wine and a 1 1/2-oz. shot of liquor all have about the same amount of alcohol.
  12. Eye movement, reaction time, ability to multitask and coordination may be affected even at a blood alcohol content level below the legal limit of .08 percent.
  13. There is an alcohol related crash every two minutes. Every thirty minutes someone dies from a drunk driving incident.

This drunk driving fact sheet by no means contains all facts related to drunk driving, and was compiled through research of different organizations and information from a number of states.

Drunk driving fact sheet: More drunk driving facts