2011 Drunk Driving Statistics

Click here for drunk driving statistics for 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002; 2001; 2000.

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 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08 or higher. Drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their BAC is .08 or higher.

An average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 53 minutes in 2011.

In 2011, 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. These alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.

Traffic fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes decreased by 2.5 percent from 2010.

In 2011, a total of 1,140 children age 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those 1,140 fatalities, 181 occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2011 was 4.5
times higher at night than during the day.

In 2011, 15 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes during the week were alcohol-impaired, compared to 31 percent on weekends.

In fatal crashes in 2011 the highest percentage of drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher was for drivers ages 21 to 24.

The proportion of drivers involved in fatal crashes with BAC levels of .08 or higher was 24 percent among males and 14 percent among females.

The percentages of drivers involved in fatal crashes with a BAC level of .08 or higher in 2011 were 29 percent for motorcycles, 24 percent for passenger cars, and 21 percent for light trucks.

Alcohol-related deaths in the US since 1982 (these numbers will adjust on occasion as new data arrives):

 
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
41,945
17,380
41
42,196
17,400
41
43,005
17,524
41
42,643
17,013
40
42,518
16,919
39
43,443
16,885
39
42,532
15,829
37
41,059
15,387
37
37,261
13,846
37
33,808
12,744
38
32,885
10,228
31
2011
32,367
9,878
38

Drinking and driving fatalities by state in 2011 (ranked by highest number of alcohol-related* deaths):

State
Total Fatalities

Alcohol-Related Fatalities

Number
Percent
 Texas   2,998 1,450 48%
 California   2,715 924 34%
 Florida   2,445 751 31%
 Pennsylvania   1,324 502 38%
 North Carolina   1,319 453 34%
 Georgia   1,244 346 28%
 New York   1,200 428 36%
 Ohio   1,080 413 38%
 Tennessee   1,031 340 33%
 Michigan   942 285 30%
 Illinois   927 366 40%
 Alabama   862 314 36%
 Missouri   819 313 38%
 South Carolina   810 410 51%
 Arizona   762 231 30%
 Kentucky   760 210 28%
 Indiana   754 220 29%
 Virginia   740 253 34%
 Louisiana   710 280 39%
 Oklahoma   668 248 37%
 Mississippi   641 259 40%
 Wisconsin   572 240 42%
 Arkansas   563 196 35%
 New Jersey   556 187 34%
 Maryland   493 188 38%
 Washington   458 194 42%
 Colorado   448 142 32%
 Kansas   431 192 45%
 Minnesota   411 135 33%
 Iowa   390 103 26%
 New Mexico   346 121 35%
 Connecticut   319 138 43%
 Oregon   317 91 29%
 West Virginia   315 101 32%
 Massachusetts   314 141 45%
 Nevada   257 85 33%
 Utah   236 49 21%
 Idaho   209 82 39%
 Nebraska   190 59 31%
 Montana   189 84 44%
 Maine   161 48 30%
 Wyoming   155 59 38%
 South Dakota   140 46 33%
 New Hampshire   128 53 42%
 Hawaii   113 48 42%
 North Dakota   105 51 48%
 Delaware   101 43 42%
 Vermont   71 25 35%
 Rhode Island   66 30 45%
 Alaska   56 17 31%
 Dist of Columbia  24 9 35%
National 32,885 11,948 36%
Puerto Rico 340 120 35%

The table below shows alcohol-impaired** motor vehicle fatalities in the US for 2008.

State Total Fatalities* BAC=.08+
Number Number Percent
Texas 3,071 1,235 40%
California 3,081 950 31%
Florida 2,558 770 30%
Pennsylvania 1,256 406 32%
South Carolina 894 377 42%
North Carolina 1,314 363 28%
Georgia 1,284 331 26%
Ohio 1,021 324 32%
New York 1,156 321 28%
Illinois 911 319 35%
Tennessee 989 303 31%
Missouri 878 300 34%
Louisiana 821 295 36%
Alabama 848 280 33%
Michigan 871 246 28%
Virginia 757 243 32%
Oklahoma 738 235 32%
Mississippi 700 234 33%
Arizona 807 219 27%
Wisconsin 561 213 38%
Indiana 693 210 30%
Washington 492 206 42%
Kentucky 791 194 25%
Arkansas 585 168 29%
Maryland 547 162 30%
Colorado 465 158 34%
Kansas 386 154 40%
New Jersey 583 149 25%
Oregon 377 115 30%
West Virginia 356 115 32%
New Mexico 361 114 32%
Minnesota 421 108 26%
Massachusetts 334 108 32%
Connecticut 223 99 44%
Iowa 372 96 26%
Montana 221 81 36%
Nevada 243 68 28%
Nebraska 223 66 30%
Idaho 226 58 26%
North Dakota 140 54 38%
South Dakota 131 53 40%
Hawaii 109 52 48%
Maine 159 47 29%
Wyoming 134 47 35%
Delaware 116 45 38%
Utah 244 40 16%
Rhode Island 83 34 40%
New Hampshire 110 30 27%
Vermont 74 23 32%
Alaska 64 20 31%
Dist of Columbia 29 10 35%
National 33,808 10,839 32%
Puerto Rico 365 109 30%

 

*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."

**A driver involved in a motor vehicle crash is considered alcohol-impaired if he or she exhibits a BAC of .08 or greater.

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