California Drunk Driving Statistics

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Year
Fatalities
Tot
Alc-Rel
%
0.08+
%
1982
4,615
2,799
61
2,484
54
1983
4,573
2,669
58
2,345
51
1984
5,020
2,894
58
2,522
50
1985
4,960
2,633
53
2,262
46
1986
5,253
2,813
54
2,370
45
1987
5,504
2,961
54
2,459
45
1988
5,392
2,773
51
2,354
44
1989
5,412
2,795
52
2,421
45
1990
5,192
2,697
52
2,305
44
1991
4,688
2,263
48
1,946
42
1992
4,192
2,015
48
1,687
40
1993
4,164
1,815
44
1,534
37
1994
4,232
1,743
41
1,468
35
1995
4,192
1,758
42
1,445
34
1996
3,989
1,666
42
1,368
34
1997
3,688
1,348
37
1,113
30
1998
3,494
1,367
39
1,133
32
1999
3,559
1,397
39
1,163
33
2000
3,753
1,450
39
1,199
32
2001
3,956
1,552
39
1,255
32
2002
4,088
1,628
40
1,326
32
2003
4,215
1,626
39
1,378
33
2004
4,120
1,643
40
1,367
33
2005
4,329
1,719
40
1,466
34
2006
4,229
1,509
36
1,276
30
2007
3,974
1,405
35
1,155
29
2008
3,434
1,198
35
1,029
30
2009
3,081
1,118
36
950
31
2010
2715
924
34
791
29
2011
2791
886
32
774
28
2012
2857
936
33
802
28

The table above shows the total number of traffic fatalities (Tot) for California, alcohol related fatalities (Alc-Rel) and fatalities in crashes where the highest BAC in the crash was 0.08 or above (0.08+).

It is important to note that the California drunk driving statistics, as shown above, include data from individuals who were in an alcohol-related crash, but not driving a motor vehicle at the time. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines alcohol-related deaths as "fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or pedalcyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value."

The fatality rates shown above refer to the number of people killed in all traffic accidents and, separately, in alcohol-related traffic accidents, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

All 50 states in the US now apply two statutory offenses to operating a motor vehicle while 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 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.

Criminal status of DUI laws in California

In California, non-injury DUI offenses are generally misdemeanors, a 4th or subsequent offense is a felony if offender is sentenced to incarceration in a state prison - Vehicle Code ??23152, 23550, & 40000.15 (2)

Sources for California drunk driving information and statistics

US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 12/02
(2) National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004

National drunk driving statistics in the US...

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