Taking recent drunk driving statistics into account, it looks like the US risks becoming the leader in this field. Perhaps the high figures aren’t so abhorrent knowing that there is an increasing number of vehicles on the American roads.
The US is the second-largest car market in the world, and the number of vehicles on the road has been rising steadily since the 1990s.
But the more vehicles there are, the more we need to seriously consider the danger that drunk driving poses and use this information to institute some real change.
Some of the Most Terrifying Drinking and Driving Statistics for 2022 (Editor’s Pick)
- Every year, 10,000 deaths occur because of drunk driving
- Fatal crashes involving alcohol rose 9% in 2020 compared to 2019
- The US faces costs of about $132 billion a year due to drunk drivers
- Every year, about 1.5 million people are arrested for drunk driving
- A survey shows that 29% of women and 56% of men have driven after drinking alcohol
- More than 50% of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes occur on the Fourth of July
- In 2019, 29% of motorcycle riders were involved in drunk driving fatal crashes
- Teenage drunk drivers are responsible for 17% of fatal alcohol-related accidents
Drunk Driving Deaths
1. 10,000 deaths occur every year due to drunk driving.
(Hasson Law Offices)
In other words, 28 people die every day due to alcohol-related crashes, which translates to one person dying every 52 minutes. Moreover, over 66% of people will be a part of a drunk driving accident in their life.
2. Over 50% of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes happen on the Fourth of July — one of the deadliest days.
According to statistics on drunk driving, DUIs happen all the time, but some days are more dangerous than others. More specifically, August is the month with the most fatalities due to DUI crashes.
As for the day of the week with the highest number of alcohol-impaired drivers, that’s Saturday. These crashes and deaths are most common in the summer months and holidays.
3. In 2019, the highest number of drunk driving fatalities occurred in Texas (1,332 incidents).
California is right after Texas, with 949 drunk driving fatalities, and Florida, with about 790. In comparison, the safest state is the District of Columbia, with only six deaths due to drunk driving annually.
4. Around 29% of motorcycle riders were part of drunk driving fatal crashes in 2019.
According to drunk driving stats, that represented the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in such accidents that year. Moreover, 20% of passenger car drivers, 19% of light truck drivers, and 2% of large truck drivers participated in alcohol-related fatal crashes.
5. 68% of drunk drivers who were fatally injured in a car crash in 2019 had a BAC of 0.15 g/dL, as per DUI stats.
The symptoms for this level of alcohol impairment are beyond serious: major loss of balance, potential vomiting, less muscle control, etc.
It’s critical for people to understand DUI laws and what they entail when entering their vehicles after consuming alcohol.
6. Drunk drivers caused 19% of the 1,053 children fatalities in traffic accidents in 2019.
The number of drunk driving deaths in 2019 included the deaths of 204 children between 0 and 14 years old. Of them, 109 were passengers of vehicles with drunk drivers, 60 were other vehicle occupants, 31 were nonoccupants, and four were child drivers.
7. In 2019, 24% of drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who died in motor vehicle accidents had been drinking.
In fact, teenage drunk driving statistics from 2019 show that 15% of those drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Moreover, regarding young drivers who are part of fatal crashes, alcohol levels are higher in males than females.
8. In 2019, around 230 British people died in accidents where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.
According to stats on drunk driving deaths per year worldwide, in the UK, there was a 9% decrease in crashes with a driver who was over the alcohol limit in 2019. So, there were around 5,350 such accidents, representing the lowest number ever recorded.
9. About 970 nonoccupants lost their lives in 2019 due to drunk driving.
Among others, that includes pedestrians and pedal cyclists. They represented 10% of the fatalities in alcohol-related vehicle crashes, as stats on driving under the influence accidents point out.
Believe it or not, that’s not even the end of the stats about pedestrian deaths and intoxication. A great number of pedestrians killed every year are drunk themselves. This means the chances of a drunk driver hitting a drunk pedestrian are also alarming.
10. In 2020, fatal crashes involving alcohol increased about 9% compared to 2019.
So, how many drunk driving deaths were there in 2020? Even though there’s no official data yet, we can calculate that number ourselves, based on already available data.
Since there were approximately 10,142 vehicle fatalities due to alcohol in 2019, and data notes that 2020 saw a 9% increase, that would translate to somewhere around 11,055 such deaths.
11. Teen drunk drivers account for 17% of fatal alcohol-related accidents, as per teenage drunk driving statistics from 2020.
(Talk it Out)
That’s despite the fact that only around 10% of licensed drivers are under the age of 21. Generally speaking, data shows that high school teenagers drink and drive more than two million times monthly.
Now that everyone knows drinking and driving is a bad idea, teens are probably not completely aware of the full consequences of underage drinking. Furthermore, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens in the US.
Statistics on Drunk Drivers
12. Drunk drivers cost the US about $132 billion a year.
Some estimates show that first-time DUI offenders can have their license suspended for three months and have costs of $15,000.
In particular, among other things, that includes $2,000 for an interlocking ignition device, $6,000 in increased insurance premiums, and over $1,000 each for remedial education, fines, legal fees, and relicensing.
13. A drunk driver has already driven under the influence an average of 80 times before being caught.
(New Milford Police)
After reading these drunk driver statistics, we can conclude that a more direct and involved police presence is the key to reducing the number of alcohol-induced crashes and fatal accidents.
As accidents due to impaired driving are preventable, our roads should be safe for those driving, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and others involved in traffic.
14. Alcohol-impaired drivers are 11 times more likely to die in a car crash than sober drivers.
(Hasson Law Offices)
Drunk driving statistics have shown an improvement in road safety since the nineties, but there’s still a long way to go. Alcohol diminishes our ability to drive safely even more than we first thought, as can be seen in this statistic.
15. Alcohol-impaired drivers are on the road more than 300,000 times every day.
However, data shows that only around 3,200 of them get arrested. On top of that, about 33% of those arrested are repeat offenders. Clearly, drunk driving needs to be regulated significantly better.
16. Drunk driving statistics confirm that about 1.5 million people are arrested every year for drunk driving.
Unfortunately, as we’ve already mentioned, many of them are repeat offenders. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired driving deaths have dropped by approximately 2% in the last decade.
17. According to a survey, around 29% of women and 56% of men have driven after drinking alcohol.
That should come as a surprise since statistics on DUI note that the United States is among the leading countries globally for driving under the influence. But more on that later.
Furthermore, the study shows that around 43% of US respondents admit to drinking and driving, with males being more likely to do so than females.
18. In 2019, 1,852 drivers with a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07% took part in fatal crashes.
In response to the statistics on DUI deaths per year, Utah has introduced the strictest BAC standard in the country and lowered the acceptable blood alcohol content limit to 0.05%.
This may sound innovative, but a lot of other countries around the world have already introduced this law, as reported by the World Health Organization.
19. In 2020, there were 1,001 DUI arrests in Hawaii.
That represented a decrease of 7.7% from 2019 when there were 1,085 DUI arrests. Among those arrested for DUI, 57 drivers were under 21. Moreover, 176 drivers were involved in traffic accidents and arrested for DUI that year, also showing a drop from 2019, this time of 24.5%.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
20. The US is the third worst country in the world for drunk driving.
With the high population in the United States and the high number of drivers on the US roads, this stat is no news. South Africa takes the first, and Canada the second place in worst countries for drunk driving.
Germany, Russia, India, and China are at the other side of the spectrum, DUI statistics show, with the least instances of drunk driving.
21. As around 10 million car crashes go unreported annually, the exact number of drunk driving crashes can’t be specified.
(MVP Law Office)
We all know that one of the things we should do after a car crash is call the police. However, because it’s likely a drunk driver wouldn’t want to involve the authorities if they crashed, the drunk driving figures are probably even worse than they already seem.
The number of deaths is also unclear. What we do know is what the last official data, which is for 2019, has shown. The number of drunk driving deaths in 2021 and 2020 is still unknown.
22. Male drivers (age 15–20) cause the highest number of drunk driving accidents involving young drivers.
In fact, a fifth of male drivers in that age group was part of alcohol-related fatal accidents in 2019. In comparison, the percentage of females 15–20 who were a part of such accidents was around 14%, based on drunk driving statistics for 2019.
23. Compared to drugs, alcohol contributes to greater crash risk.
Based on a study, alcohol is the primary contributor to the risk of accidents. Moreover, consuming alcohol isn’t only related to greater crash risk but a greater severity of injuries caused by a crash.
24. Speeding and drunk driving cause almost the same number of car crashes.
However, drunk driving facts confirm that drunk driving takes the lead here. That said, in 2019, the number of speeding-related vehicle fatalities was 9,478, while we already mentioned that drunk driving caused 10,142 deaths that year.
Even though drunk drivers are prone to speeding, they also tend to drive too slowly, which can also be dangerous depending on the situation. In the end, slow reactions and false judgments are the main reasons for a crash in either case.
The US drinking and driving statistics are extremely worrying for this day and age. Considering the country’s leading position in the world and the fact that the automobile industry has made incredible progress, the alarmingly high statistics on DUIs are quite disappointing.
The total number of drunk drivers on the roads at every moment is shocking, not to mention how many repeat offenders there are. It gets even worse when you consider the number of children who’ve lost their lives due to drunk driving.
In order to improve these horrendous statistics, better education, more frequent BAC controls, and a lower maximum BAC level would all make a major difference.
People Also Ask
A lot of people die because of drunk drivers, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. Tragically, many children are part of these accidents, too.
When looking into the annual numbers, we’re talking about 10,000 deaths or a third of all traffic-related fatalities. Moreover, that’s around 28 fatalities per day, which would equate to one death every 52 minutes.
Overestimating the amount of alcohol they can drink and then drive, many people drive under the influence of alcohol.
All in all, around 43% of people in the US confess to having driven after drinking, and another 45% have taken a ride from someone who had been drinking. Broken down by genders, 56% of men and 29% of women admit to drinking and then driving.
Every year, many people get injuries or lose their lives due to alcohol-impaired drivers. Even though there’s no official data, estimates reveal that around 50% of motor vehicle crashes involve drunk drivers.
The number of deaths due to drunk driving is also high. In 2019, for example, there were over 10,000 deaths due to alcohol-related vehicle crashes. More specifically, that translated to around 28% of the total number of traffic fatalities that year.
Drunk driving statistics point out that in 2020, there were 38,680 fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. According to our estimates mentioned earlier, there were 11,055 drunk driving fatalities. Therefore, that equates to around 28% of all deaths being drunk driving deaths.
Furthermore, motor vehicle fatalities in 2020 are the highest in the last 13 years, even though there was a significant drop in miles driven.