2002 Drunk Driving Statistics

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Here's an eye-opening list of drunk driving stats for 2002.

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)

Alcohol-related fatalities are defined as fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or pedal cyclist) involved in a crash has a positive (0.01+) Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value.(1)

Alcohol-related fatalities remained at 41 percent of total highway deaths, so it seems that the decreases which have occurred over the last twenty years in annual drunk driving deaths, have stopped.(1)

17,419 persons were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2002, 15,019 of which involved a driver or non-occupant with blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater.(1)

This means that 86% of persons killed in alcohol-related crashes were considered legally drunk.(1)

Of the 15,019 drivers and non-occupants who were drunk and involved in a fatal crash, 12,344 of those were drunk drivers, which represent 82% of the total.

In 2002, the national rate of alcohol-related fatalities declined marginally, about 3 percent, as compared to the rate in 1998.(1)

In the period between 1998 and 2002, the rate for 32 states declined, remained the same for two states and increased for 17 states.(1)

The percent of alcohol-related fatalities has declined from 60 percent in 1982 to 41 percent in 2002.(1)

Forty-one percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol. For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 76 percent involved alcohol.(1)

Forty-one percent of the persons who were killed in traffic crashes in 2002 died in alcohol-related crashes. Nine percent of the injured persons received their injuries in alcohol-related crashes.(1)

In 2002, it was a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dl or above in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.(1)

Changes since 1998:
Alcohol-related fatality rate for nineteen states increased or remained flat from 1998.(1)

Thirty-two states had a decrease in their alcohol-related fatality rates from 1998.(1)

Since 1998, only Vermont has shown a consistent, year-to-year decline in their alcohol-related fatality rate. In the same period, its rate declined by 54 percent, the highest percentage decline among the states. (1)

The rate for South Carolina increased by about 34 percent since 1998, the highest percentage increase among the states.(1)

Since 1998, the highest rate of alcohol-related fatalities for any state was for 1.25 (per 100 million vehicle miles traveled [VMT]) for South Carolina in 2001 and the lowest was 0.28 for Vermont in 2002.(1)

Changes from 2001:
The alcohol-related fatality rate for twenty-one states increased or remained flat from 2001.

Thirty states had a decrease in their alcohol-related fatality rates from 2001.

For the thirty states that showed a decrease in their alcohol-related fatality rates, there were a total of 603 fewer fatalities as compared to 2001. This however, was offset by an increase of 622 fatalities for the twenty-one states that showed an increase in their alcohol-related fatality rate.(1)

The alcohol-related fatality rate for West Virginia increased by about 30 percent from 2001, the highest such increase in the nation in terms of percentage change from 2001. On the other hand, the alcohol-related fatality rate in 2002 dropped 29 percent for Alaska, the highest such decrease among the states.(1)

Prior years drunk driving statistics:

More drunk driving statistics: Alcohol-related traffic fatalities by state in 2002:

Alabama 413 Montana 127
Alaska 35 Nebraska 117
Arizona 477 Nevada 171
Arkansas 242 New Hampshire 51
California 1,612 New Jersey 299
Colorado 307 New Mexico 215
Connecticut 140 New York 478
Delaware 51 North Carolina 601
District of Columbia 25 North Dakota 48
Florida 1,276 Ohio 562
Georgia 529 Oklahoma 249
Hawaii 50 Oregon 179
Idaho 91 Pennsylvania 656
Illinois 648 Rhode Island 46
Indiana 269 South Carolina 551
Iowa 131 South Dakota 92
Kansas 229 Tennessee 471
Kentucky 301 Texas 1,745
Louisiana 413 Utah 73
Maine 51 Vermont 27
Maryland 265 Virginia 371
Massachusetts 221 Washington 298
Michigan 490 West Virginia 180
Minnesota 255 Wisconsin 364
Mississippi 332 Wyoming 70
Missouri 525 Puerto Rico 241
U.S. Total: 17,419
1NHTSA