Drunk Drivers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Some promising news when it comes to drunk drivers.

According to a new federal study, only seven states have a lower rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths than Virginia.

About 36 percent of the state's fatal wrecks in 2001 involved alcohol, down from 39 percent the year before and 56 percent in 1982. The national average is 41 percent.

State police attribute Virginia's lower rates to tough DUI laws.

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Drunk Driving Statistics

  • Traffic fatalities in alcohol-related crashes rose by four percent from 1999 to
    2000.

  • The 16,653 alcohol-related fatalities in 2000 (40 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year) represent a 25 percent reduction from the 22,084 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1990 (50 percent of the total).

  • NHTSA estimates that alcohol was involved in 40 percent of fatal crashes and in eight percent of all crashes in 2000.

  • The 16,653 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2000 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 32 minutes.

  • An estimated 310,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every two minutes.

  • Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 1999 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

  • This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 121 licensed drivers in the United States.

  • About 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.

  • In 2000, 31 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of 0.10 g/dl or greater. Sixty-nine percent of the 12,892 people killed in such crashes were themselves intoxicated. The remaining 31 percent were passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated nonoccupants.

Source: www.nhtsa.dot.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site) contributed to this report.


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