2001 Drunk Driving Statistics

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Here's an eye-opening list of drunk driving stats in the United States for 2001.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a fatal traffic crash as being alcohol-related if either a driver or a nonoccupant (e.g., pedestrian) had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01 grams per deciliter (g/dl) or greater in a police-reported traffic crash.(1)

Persons with a BAC of 0.10 g/dl or greater involved in fatal crashes are considered to be intoxicated. This is the legal limit of intoxication in most states.(1)

Drunk driving statistics continue to show that alcohol involvement remains the leading factor in motor vehicle deaths.(1)

The rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes is more than 3 times as high at night as during the day (63 percent vs. 19 percent).(1)

For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate is 5 times as high at night (15 percent vs. 3 percent).(1)

In 2001, 32 percent of all fatal crashes during the week were alcohol related, compared to 54 percent on weekends.(1)

For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate was 5 percent during the week and 12 percent during the weekend.(1)

From 1991 to 2001, intoxication rates decreased for drivers of all age groups involved in fatal crashes. Drivers 25 to 34 years old experienced the largest decrease in intoxication rates (22.2 percent), followed by drivers 16 to 20 years old (21.7 percent).(1)

The highest intoxication rates in fatal crashes in 2001 were recorded for drivers 21-24 years old (33 percent), followed by ages 25-34 (28 percent) and 35-44 (25 percent).(1)

Intoxication rates for drivers in fatal crashes in 2001 were highest for motorcycle operators (29 percent) and lowest for drivers of large trucks (1 percent).(1)

The intoxication rates for drivers of light trucks and passenger car drivers were the same (23 percent).(1)

Safety belts were used by only 23 percent of the fatally injured intoxicated drivers (BAC of 0.08 g/dl or greater), compared to 33 percent of fatally injured impaired drivers (BAC between 0.01 g/dl and 0.07 g/dl) and 53 percent of fatally injured sober drivers.(1)

Fatally injured drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 g/dl or greater were 10 times as likely to have a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated compared to fatally injured sober drivers (10 percent and 1 percent, respectively).(1)

More than one-third (36 percent) of all pedestrians 16 years of age or older killed in traffic crashes in 2001 were intoxicated. By age group, the percentages ranged from a low of 9 percent for pedestrians 65 and over to a high of 52 percent for those 35 to 44 years old.(1)

The driver, pedestrian, or both were intoxicated in 41 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes in 2001. In these crashes, the intoxication rate for pedestrians was more than double the rate for drivers - 33 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Both the pedestrian and the driver were intoxicated in 6 percent of the crashes that resulted in a pedestrian fatality. More than one-third of all pedestrians 16 years of age or older killed in traffic crashes in 2001 were intoxicated.(1)

All states and the District of Columbia now have 21-year-old minimum drinking age laws.(1)

NHTSA estimates that these laws have reduced traffic fatalities involving drivers 18 to 20 years old by 13 percent and have saved an estimated 20,970 lives since 1975.(1)

In 2001, an estimated 927 lives were saved by minimum drinking age laws. NHTSA estimates that minimum drinking age laws have saved 20,970 lives since 1975.(1)

Traffic fatalities in alcohol-related crashes rose slightly (by 0.4 percent) from 17,380 in 2000 to 17,448 in 2001.(1)

The 17,448 alcohol-related fatalities in 2001 (41 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year) represent a 13 percent reduction from the 20,159 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1991 (49 percent of the total).(1)

NHTSA estimates that alcohol was involved in 41 percent of fatal crashes and in 7 percent of all crashes in 2001.(1)

Drunk driving statistics show that the 17,448 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2001 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 30 minutes.(1)

An estimated 275,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present - an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes.(1)

Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 2000 for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 130 licensed drivers in the United States (2001 data not yet available).(1)

In 2001, 35 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or greater. Sixty-seven percent of the 14,933 people killed in such crashes were themselves intoxicated. The remaining 33 percent were passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated nonoccupants.(1)

More than 2,300 anti-drunk driving laws have been passed since 1980.(1)

For stats for the previous year see drunk driving statistics for 2000 .

More drunk driving statistics: Alcohol-related traffic fatalities by state in 2001:

Alabama 376 Montana 104
Alaska 43 Nebraska 96
Arizona 488 Nevada 133
Arkansas 193 New Hampshire 70
California 1,569 New Jersey 297
Colorado 328 New Mexico 214
Connecticut 158 New York 498
Delaware 65 North Carolina 533
District of Columbia 38 North Dakota 53
Florida 1,264 Ohio 604
Georgia 557 Oklahoma 266
Hawaii 60 Oregon 190
Idaho 97 Pennsylvania 663
Illinois 620 Rhode Island 49
Indiana 337 South Carolina 592
Iowa 155 South Dakota 84
Kansas 194 Tennessee 537
Kentucky 247 Texas 1,789
Louisiana 445 Utah 68
Maine 65 Vermont 35
Maryland 290 Virginia 340
Massachusetts 234 Washington 281
Michigan 518 West Virginia 135
Minnesota 226 Wisconsin 364
Mississippi 282 Wyoming 81
Missouri 523    
U.S. Total: 17,448
1NHTSA