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Alcohol and Driving: Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics

Drunk Driving Facts and StatsAlcohol and Driving: Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics. Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States. It is a threat to everyone, regardless of age, gender, or class. As its name implies, drunk driving is the act of driving a vehicle after consuming enough alcohol to impair one’s motor skills and mental capacity. In nearly all states, people who drink enough alcohol to have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher are considered impaired and cannot legally drive a car. In some instances, the legal blood alcohol content, which is often referred to as BAC, may be lower than 0.08 percent. In terms of drivers who are under the age of 21, no amount of alcohol in the system is acceptable, as it is illegal to drink alcohol at that age. The impairment to one’s motor skills and mental capacity are just two of the reasons why drinking and driving is such a great offense. In addition, it also affects a driver’s perception, reaction time, coordination, judgment, and general ability to pay attention to what is happening on the road. Failure to have command of any of these skills can result in a crash and/or the injury of others on the road, including other drivers and their passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Not only are drunk drivers a threat to others on the road, but they are also a threat to themselves and to any passengers who may be in the vehicle with them. While driving drunk is an obvious danger to human life, it is also very costly in other ways. When an intoxicated individual gets behind the wheel of a car, they are potentially destructive to the environment and structures within a community as well.

Scope of the Problem

People Who Are at the Highest Risk

Other Risk Factors

  • Approximately 18 percent of auto deaths involve the use of drugs such as marijuana or cocaine; however, the CDC notes that many of these cases also involve the use of alcohol in addition to the other drugs.
  • Alcohol-related accidents are more likely to occur at night than during the day.
  • There are more alcohol-related crashes on weekends versus weekdays.