2007 Drunk Driving Statistics

Click here for drunk driving statistics for 20062005; 2004; 2003; 2002; 2001; 2000.

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

All 50 states in the US and Puerto Rico now apply two statutory offenses to driving under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating [a motor vehicle] while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon a police officer's observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.)

The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

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
2004
42,518
16,919
39
2005
43,443
16,885
39
2006
42,532
15,829
37
2007
41,059
15,387
37

 

Drinking and driving fatalities by state in 2006 (ranked by highest number of alcohol related deaths):

State
Total Fatalities

Alcohol-Related Fatalities

Number
Percent
3,466
1,544
45%
4,229
1,509
36%
3,363
1,111
33%
1,517
556
37%
1,254
540
43%
1,688
539
32%
1,280
502
39%
1,558
490
31%
1,454
483
33%
1,286
478
37%
1,037
477
46%
1,087
469
43%
1,235
451
37%
1,206
445
37%
982
425
43%
1,081
390
36%
911
358
39%
722
352
49%
961
347
36%
896
290
32%
771
285
37%
630
269
43%
913
257
28%
665
245
37%
765
243
32%
651
235
36%
533
207
39%
477
177
37%
493
175
36%
432
168
39%
466
162
35%
422
159
38%
484
155
32%
408
155
38%
439
142
32%
301
121
40%
255
114
45%
267
102
38%
266
86
32%
191
78
41%
195
78
40%
160
77
48%
188
70
37%
284
63
22%
127
51
40%
148
50
34%
111
47
42%
81
37
46%
86
28
33%
73
23
31%
37
14
36%

National
42,532
15,829
37%
507
176
35%

 

*According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "A motor vehicle crash is considered to be alcohol-related if at least one driver or non-occupant (such as a pedestrian or pedalcyclist) involved in the crash is determined to have had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 gram per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Thus, any fatality that occurs in an alcohol-related crash is considered an alcohol-related fatality. The term 'alcohol-related' does not indicate that a crash or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol."

Note the last paragraph, and in particular, the last sentence. This would seem to make the statistics above a little misleading since we tend to think that alcohol-related crashes are caused by drunk drivers. But if a sober driver kills an alcohol-impaired pedestrian, it's still considered an alcohol-related crash.  Does this invalidate the drunk driving statistics below? No. The statistics reveal that most fatal alcohol-related crashes do indeed involve drunk drivers and far fewer of these fatalities involve intoxicated pedestrians or "bicyclists and other cyclists".

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