Alarming Statistics on Drunk Driving in the United States
Every year in the United States, thousands of people die in car crashes caused by drunk driving. Over the last 10 years, more than 10,000 people have been killed each year due to alcohol-related accidents. Despite this startling statistic, 2019 marked a historic low in drunk driving deaths since 1982, with a total of 10,142 fatalities. It is clear that action needs to be taken to reduce the number of fatalities from drunk driving. Here’s an overview of some alarming facts about drunk driving in the country today.
Impact of Drunk Driving on Car Crash Fatalities
Approximately one-third of all car crash fatalities involve an alcohol-impaired driver. The deadly consequences are felt far and wide with the yearly economic cost estimated to be around $44 billion.
In 2018, 147 million times, alcohol-impaired drivers got behind the wheel of a car- posing a severe risk to both themselves and other road users. Night time is especially dangerous as 32% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes while driving at night were intoxicated. Additionally, twice as many alcohol-related and fatal car crashes occur during the weekend compared to other days.
Demographics of Alcohol-Impaired Drivers
Data also reveals a stark gender gap – for every one female alcohol-impaired driver out on the road, there were four male counterparts in 2017. The percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers varies by state with the lowest being 11% in Utah and the highest 34% in Rhode Island. Teenage drivers don’t fare any better with nearly 6% reporting they had driven while drinking within the last 30 days while 17% admit they had been in a car with a driver who had been drinking.
Recent Statistics on Drunk Driving During Covid
During the pandemic, even though there was less traffic on the roads, alcohol was still reported to have been involved in 9% of crashes according to the NHTSA. Furthermore, between March 17, 2020 and September 30, 2020, 27% of drivers were involved in alcohol-related serious or fatal car crashes while this same figure was 21% from September 10, 2019 to March 16th 2020.
These numbers are sobering reflections on the need to take steps to reduce drunk driving fatalities in the United States.
DWI statistics offer a point of reference to evaluate the nature of DWI cases in the United States. DWI statistics are important because ninety-seven percent of the general public feels that drinking and driving poses a significant threat to themselves and their families. DWI statistics also show that thirty percent of the general population will be involved in an alcohol-related accident at some point in their lives.
A DWI is the crime of driving while intoxicated. This is sometimes known as a DUI or driving under the influence. A DWI charge can be brought against anyone who operates any motor vehicle while intoxicated, including cars, motorcycles, large trucks, and water vessels. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, a DWI can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
DWI statistics from 2002 reveal that approximately forty-one percent of all traffic-related fatalities are from alcohol-related accidents. Nine percent of all injured persons are injured as a result of alcohol related accidents. In 2002, DWI statistics show that 17,419 people died in alcohol related traffic accidents. From 1998 to 2003 the percentage of alcohol-related fatality DWI statistics dropped by three percent. It is postulated that this decrease in the percentage of DWI fatalities is owed to harsher DWI penalties and the work of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The level at which one is considered driving while intoxicated is a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration. This is true in most states, though the laws governing DWI offenses vary from state to state. In all states, the punishment for repeat DWI offenses is greatly enhanced. DWI statistics show that one-third of all DWI offenses are perpetrated by repeat offenders. The penalties for repeat DWI crimes can involve increased fines, probation, license restriction or revocation, and possibly jail time.
DWI statistics also include operating other types of motor vehicles while intoxicated. DWI statistics show that, in 2002, thirty-nine percent of all boating accidents involved alcohol. DWI statistics from the year before showing an increase in the frequency of alcohol-related boating accidents (a five percent increase from 2001 to 2002). The laws for operating a boat while intoxicated carries penalties on par with those of driving a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
DWI statistics show that alcohol-related motorcycle accidents result in fatalities more often than other vehicle accidents. This is because motorcycle operators are much more vulnerable on the road than other vehicle operators. DWI statistics regarding motorcycle accidents show that about fifty percent of all motorcycle fatalities are the result of alcohol-related accidents.
DWI statistics show that most alcohol-related accidents (79 percent) occur between the hours of midnight and three am. According to DWI statistics, drivers between the ages of 21 to 24 are most likely to be involved in alcohol related fatal crashes. Drunk driving is the country’s most frequently committed crime, killing someone every thirty minutes.