2003 Drunk Driving Statistics

Click here for drunk driving statistics for 2002; 2001; 2000.

Below are some statistics on drinking and driving in the US.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol related fatalities dropped significantly in 2003. But that would depend on your definition of significantly. A 2.3% drop may not qualify as significant when drunken driving deaths are still over 17,000 per year. A total of 17,013 alcohol-related fatalities were recorded in 2003.

14,630 of those people were killed in crashes that involved a driver or non-occupant with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater.

But there's another part to the equation. Although the ACTUAL NUMBER of drinking and driving deaths dropped by only 406, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel also fell. So people are driving more and dying less.

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.

Persons with a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or greater involved in fatal crashes are considered intoxicated. This is the legal limit of intoxication in all states.

Alcohol related deaths in the US since 1982:

 
Total fatalities
Alcohol related fatalities
Year
Number
Number
Percent
1982
43,945
26,173
60
1983
42,589
24,635
58
1984
44,257
24,762
56
1985
43,825
23,167
53
1986
46,087
25,017
54
1987
46,390
24,094
52
1988
47,087
23,833
51
1989
45,582
22,424
49
1990
44,599
22,587
51
1991
41,508
20,159
49
1992
39,250
18,290
47
1993
40,150
17,908
45
1994
40,716
17,308
43
1995
41,817
17,732
42
1996
42,065
17,749
42
1997
42,013
16,711
40
1998
41,501
16,673
40
1999
41,717
16,572
40
2000
41,945
17,380
41
2001
42,196
17,400
41
2002
43,005
17,524
41
2003
42,643
17,013
40

Drinking and driving fatalities by state in 2003 (ranked by highest number of alcohol related deaths):

State
Total Fatalities
Number Alcohol-Related Fatalities
Percent Alcohol-Related Fatalities
Texas
3,675
1,709
47
California
4,215
1,626
39
Florida
3,169
1,274
40
Illinois
1,453
639
44
Pennsylvania
1,577
618
39
North Carolina
1,531
554
36
New York
1,491
529
35
Missouri
1,232
504
41
Georgia
1,603
488
30
South Carolina
968
488
50
Michigan
1,283
481
37
Arizona
1,120
470
42
Ohio
1,277
467
37
Tennessee
1,193
447
37
Alabama
1,001
415
41
Louisiana
894
406
45
Wisconsin
848
387
46
Virginia
943
364
39
Mississippi
871
320
37
Maryland
649
281
43
Kentucky
928
276
30
New Jersey
747
275
37
Minnesota
657
267
41
Indiana
834
262
31
Washington
600
259
43
Oklahoma
668
255
38
Arkansas
627
254
41
Colorado
632
246
39
Oregon
512
207
40
Massachusetts
462
207
45
Kansas
471
206
44
New Mexico
439
198
45
Nevada
368
182
50
West Virginia
394
148
37
Iowa
441
145
33
Connecticut
294
131
45
Montana
262
128
49
Nebraska
293
121
41
Idaho
293
107
37
South Dakota
203
98
48
Maine
207
75
36
Hawaii
135
72
53
Wyoming
165
62
38
Delaware
142
60
42
Rhode Island
104
57
55
New Hampshire
127
52
41
North Dakota
105
52
50
Utah
309
46
15
Alaska
95
35
37
Dist of Columbia
67
34
50
Vermont
69
29
41
National
42,643
17,013
40
Puerto Rico
493
233
47