Below are some interesting statistics relating to alcohol related fatalities. Although this data is from 2006, it is indicative of the serious problem with drunk driving fatalities. The figures compiled speak for themselves. The highlighted statistic indicating there is an “alcohol-impaired driving fatality every 39 minutes” is the most disturbing. Despite tougher laws and better intervention by police, these numbers are not significantly improved since then. If you drink, please don’t drive. Get a friend to drive. Call a cab. Be Safe. Get Home.
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In 2006, 13,470 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. These alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 32 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States. Traffic fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes fell by 0.8 percent, from 13,582 in 2005 to 13,470 in 2006. The 13,470 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in 2006 were almost the same as compared to 13,451 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities reported in 1996.
Drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Thus, any fatality occurring in a crash involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher is considered to be an alcohol-impaired-driving fatality. The term “driver” refers to the operator of any motor vehicle, including a motorcycle. Estimates of alcohol-impaired driving are generated using BAC values reported to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and imputed BAC values when they are not reported. The term “alcohol-impaired” does not indicate that a crash or a fatality was caused by alcohol impairment.
The 13,470 fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during 2006 represent an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 39 minutes. (Emphasis added). In 2006, all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had by law created a threshold making it illegal per se to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Of the 13,470 people who died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2006, 8,615 (64%) were drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher. The remaining fatalities consisted of 4,030 (30%) motor vehicle occupants and 825 (6%) were non-occupants.
The national rate of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle crashes in 2006 was 0.45 per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
In 2006, 1,794 children age 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those 1,794 fatalities, 306 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
Children riding in vehicles with drivers who had a BAC level of .08 or higher counted for half (153) of these deaths. Another 45 children age 14 and younger who were killed in traffic crashes in 2006, were pedestrians or cyclists who were struck by drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher.
DOT HS 810 801
(Updated March 2008)