Drunk Drivers "Cause" 2% of Fatal Crashes

 

According to the 2008 FARS database, there were 84,026 persons and 66,244 drivers involved in 60,508 crashes which killed 41,059 people.  9,447 of these persons (11.2% of them) and 8,841 crashes (14.6% of them) were reported by the police as "Alcohol-Involvement".  BAC tests proved 5,946 of these persons (7% of all persons and 63% of those reported by the police as "Alcohol-Involvement") had a BAC greater than 0.10, compared to 4,001 (4.8% of all persons and 37% of those reported by the police as "Alcohol-Involvement") who were proven to have not had a BAC greater than 0.10.  So more than a third of Americans who the police suspected had been drinking were proven by expensive, counterproductive, time consuming BAC testing to be innocent of all charges.

If a driver collides with a pedestrian or bicyclist who has been drinking, the police almost automatically list this accident as "Alcohol-Involvement".  As a motorcyclist who knows how dangerous they are no matter how sober you are, and since motorcyclists usually kill only themselves, it doesn't seem reasonable to include them in the same category as motor vehicle drivers.  In other words, why should we use dead motorcyclists who harm almost nobody as an excuse to continue to persecute drinking drivers? 

2,247 of the remaining 5,946 persons with a BAC greater than 0.1  or 38% of them, died while driving an ATV, snowmobile, farm equipment, forklift, bicycle, motorcycle, or as a pedestrian, leaving a total of 3,699 drivers (5.6% of all drivers and 4.4% of all persons) who were in fatal accidents who were proven to have had a BAC greater than 0.10.  Since  NHTSA has determined that young drivers who drink don't have a higher accident rate than young drivers who don't drink (who DO have a very high accident rate, but for other reasons) their 2,698 Police-Reported Alcohol Involvement accidents must also be excluded as a factor, leaving a grand total of only 1,001 GUILTY-of-DWI drivers--1.5% of all drivers and 1.2% of all persons.

The REAL question you ought to be asking yourself is: when are we going to crack down on the 98.5% who drink so little that they caused 98.8% of all these other fatal accidents.

Think about it.  This is not a joke.

However, it could be argued that SOME of these 976 alcohol-involved motorcycle deaths WERE caused by drinking motor vehicle drivers, rather than by drinking motorcyclists themselves--except that it seems that there are so FEW of them.  Ditto for the 969 pedestrians, 148 ATV drivers, and maybe even the 2,698 young drivers.  Just to be on the safe side, let's say drinking drivers DID cause 20% of these deaths, or 763 of them, giving us a grand total of 1,764 GUILTY-of-DWI drivers, 2.7% of all drivers and 2.1% of all persons!

 

http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectFields.aspx

By what process can it be established that 42% of all fatal accidents involve drinking drivers, as the headlines scream?  There is none, not at least from the FARS database, and there hasn't been for the last several decades, at least since FARS 1998 and FARS 1999

 

 

Police Reported Alcohol Involvement Are 16.9% of Crashes Where Drugs Were Suspected

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Crashes
   

Because you are counting Number of Crashes with the variables Police-Reported Alcohol Involvement and Police Reported Other Drug Involvement, the sum of the totals (51908) may not equal the Number of Crashes (34017).

Police-Reported Alcohol InvolvementPolice Reported Other Drug InvolvementTotal
Blank No (other Drugs Not Involved) Yes (other Drugs Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported As Unknown)
Blank18000018
No (Alcohol Not Involved)010,0497418,65422319,667
Yes (Alcohol Involved)02,4461,0504,7535338,782
Not Reported036121716,25415716,989
Unknown (Police Reported)070461,3704,9666,452
Total1812,9262,05431,0315,87951,908
Search Criteria:
Year2008

Police Reported Alcohol Involvement Are 11.2% of all Persons

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
   
SexPolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Blank400004
Male1321,6497,91420,6845,39455,654
Female810,6621,52913,3461,65827,203
Unknown022045983431,165
Total2532,5319,44734,6287,39584,026
Search Criteria:
Year2008

 

Police Reported Alcohol Involvement By Sex Are 12.2% of all Drivers

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Vehicles/Drivers
   

Because you are counting Number of Vehicles/Drivers with the variables Sex and Police-Reported Alcohol Involvement, the sum of the totals (66224) may not equal the Number of Vehicles/Drivers (50430).

SexPolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Blank200002
Male1118,5466,77614,5684,57444,475
Female88,7761,3059,2811,36720,737
Unknown018934783401,010
Total2127,5118,08424,3276,28166,224
Search Criteria:
Year2008

Police Reported Alcohol Involvement by Sex Are 14.6% of all Crashes

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Crashes
   

Because you are counting Number of Crashes with the variables Sex and Police-Reported Alcohol Involvement, the sum of the totals (60508) may not equal the Number of Crashes (34017).

SexPolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Blank200002
Male1114,8827,37712,7364,94639,952
Female87,9291,4608,6241,55219,573
Unknown01814468328981
Total2122,9928,84121,8286,82660,508
Search Criteria:
Year2008

 

2,247 or 24% of Police Reported Alcohol Involvement Were Not Driving Motor Vehicles

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
   
Body TypePolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Blank000505
Convertible(excludes sun-roof,t-bar)02509722254623
2-door sedan,hardtop,coupe01,7308652,0825145,191
3-door/2-door hatchback04451775011211,244
4-door sedan, hardtop88,8572,36710,1551,77523,162
5-door/4-door hatchback02104718133471
Station Wagon (excluding van and truck based)0634118680911,523
Hatchback, number of doors unknown0705214
Sedan/Hardtop, number of doors unknown02026735
Other or Unknown automobile type1581714244262
Auto-based pickup (includes E1 Camino, Caballero, Ranchero, Subaru Brat,Rabbit Pickup)08416230
Auto-based panel (cargo station wagon, auto-based ambulance or hearse)020103
Large Limousine-more than four side doors or stretched chassis01416122
Three-wheel automobile or automobile derivative021003
Compact utility (Jeep CJ-2-CJ-7, Scrambler, Golden Eagle, Renegade, Laredo, Wrangler, .....)43,6821,0244,0176169,343
Large utility (includes Jeep Cherokee [83 and before], Ramcharger, Trailduster, Bronco-fullsize ..)21,0572821,5861673,094
Utility station wagon (includes suburban limousines, Suburban, Travellall, Grand Wagoneer)01845935930632
Utility, Unknown body type0019313
Minivan (Chrysler Town and Country, Caravan, Grand Caravan, Voyager, Grand Voyager, Mini-Ram, ...)01,6652082,0651974,135
Large Van (B150-B350, Sportsman, Royal Maxiwagon, Ram, Tradesman, Voyager [83 and before], .....)063957867451,608
Step van or walk-in van014021136
Other van type (Hi-Cube Van, Kary)010102
Unknown van type0306211
Compact pickup (GVWR <4,500 lbs.) (D50,Colt P/U, Ram 50, Dakota, Arrow Pickup [foreign], Ranger, ..)11,4764881,2083723,545
Standard pickup (GVWR 4,500 to 10,00 lbs.)(Jeep Pickup, Comanche, Ram Pickup, D100-D350, ......)63,7181,3574,0956519,827
Pickup with slide-in camper019810138
Unknown (pickup style) light conventional truck type0206211057
Cab chassis based (includes light stake, light dump, light tow, rescue vehicles)016318643
Truck based panel001001
Light truck (van-based or pickup-based) motorhome 031004
Unknown light truck type (not a pickup)010001
Unknown light vehicle type (automobile, van, or light truck)040318
School Bus012612036336
Cross Country/Intercity Bus (i.e., Greyhound)024066090
Transit Bus (City Bus)081023311325
Other Bus Type010258171
Unknown Bus Type05016223
Step van023012035
Single unit straight truck (10,000 lbs < GVWR < or= 19,500 lbs)01461010213271
Single unit straight truck (19,500 lbs < GVWR < or= 26,000 lbs.)014729714260
Single unit straight truck (GVWR > 26,000 lbs.)0512626733818
Single unit straight truck (GVWR unknown)060118
Medium/heavy truck based motorhome025025353
Truck-tractor (Cab only, or with any number of trailing unit; any weight)11,973199091823,084
Medium/Heavy Pickup06225638158
Unknown if single unit or combination unit Medium Truck (10,000 < GVWR < 26,000)021104
Unknown if single unit or combination unit Heavy Truck (GVWR > 26,000)030104
Camper or motorhome, unknown truck type019030150
Unknown medium/heavy truck type0807116
Motorcycle02,1909761,6169835,765
Moped (motorized bicycle)0301337888
Three-wheel Motorcycle or Moped - not All-Terrain Vehicle0415212
Off-road Motorcycle (2-wheel)02613111565
Other motored cycle type(minibikes, Motorscooters)04614171895
Unknown motored cycle type01003518
ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle; includes dune/swamp buggy - 3 or 4 wheels)015614813860502
Snowmobile013259855
Farm equipment other than trucks060421590
Construction equipment other than trucks (includes graders)060017
Other vehicle type (includes go-cart, fork-lift, city street seeeper)0221226666
Unknown body type014912256293710
Total2330,6238,47532,5186,42678,065
Search Criteria:
Year2008


969 or 11.3% of Police Reported Alcohol Involvement Were Pedestrians

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
   
Non-Motorist Striking Vehicle NumberPolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Not Applicable - Occupant of Motor Vehicle In-Transport or Not In-Transport (Including Motor Vehicles Parked/Stopped Off Roadway/Working/In Motion Outside the Trafficway)2430,7098,47832,6676,43278,310
0111,7689621,9169455,592
0204274017106
03040419
04010001
05010001
Unknown060107
Total2532,5319,44734,6287,39584,026
Search Criteria:
Year2008

131 or 1.4% of Police Reported Alcohol Involvement Were Bicyclists

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
   
Person TypePolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Driver of a Motor Vehicle in Transport2024,5677,84211,7006,05750,186
Passenger of a Motor Vehicle in Transport36,03960320,74632927,720
Occupant of a Motor Vehicle Not in Transport18531496244
Occupant of a Non-Motor Vehicle Transport Device010116936
Pedestrian11,4088581,6718124,750
Bicyclist0325101206114746
Other Cyclist010405
Persons on Personal Conveyances06893325135
Unknown Occupant Type in a Motor Vehicle in Transport018307240160
Persons In/On Buildings010031344
Total2532,5319,44734,6287,39584,026
Search Criteria:
Year2008


3,501 or 37% of 9,447 Police Reported Alcohol Involvement Did NOT Have a BAC > .10

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
   
Alcohol Test ResultPolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Blank23128167786311,135
0.00 % BAC29,8114575,2612,94718,478
0.01 % BAC069808832269
0.02 % BAC0521197851300
0.03 % BAC0311065435226
0.04 % BAC0361066033235
0.05 % BAC0251267044265
0.06 % BAC0381366542281
0.07 % BAC0361467051303
0.08 % BAC0272096736339
0.09 % BAC0182027246338
0.10 % BAC0222027144339
0.11 % BAC0262216067374
0.12 % BAC0282737659436
0.13 % BAC0282728664450
0.14 % BAC0313628065538
0.15 % BAC0303538970542
0.16 % BAC0283639983573
0.17 % BAC0213529982554
0.18 % BAC0223329795546
0.19 % BAC0213369492543
0.20 % BAC0173157985496
0.21 % BAC0313367980526
0.22 % BAC0262997863466
0.23 % BAC0212767376446
0.24 % BAC0132538166413
0.25 % BAC0132085656333
0.26 % BAC091823957287
0.27 % BAC0101894436279
0.28 % BAC051423838223
0.29 % BAC081173628189
0.30 % BAC051092124159
0.31 % BAC03842520132
0.32 % BAC04641719104
0.33 % BAC0250101476
0.34 % BAC0547111477
0.35 % BAC023812860
0.36 % BAC00358649
0.37 % BAC02318849
0.38 % BAC01234634
0.39 % BAC04196332
0.40 % BAC02182426
0.41 % BAC0092415
0.42 % BAC007007
0.43 % BAC012115
0.44 % BAC016209
0.45 % BAC003205
0.46 % BAC003104
0.47 % BAC001102
0.48 % BAC001001
0.49 % BAC003205
0.52 % BAC001001
0.53 % BAC001113
0.54 % BAC002002
0.55 % BAC000101
0.56 % BAC001001
0.57 % BAC002002
0.58 % BAC002013
0.60 % BAC000101
0.66 % BAC010001
0.80 % BAC001001
Test Refused0133414364
None Given020,46859623,6891,68446,437
AC Test Performed,Results Unknown01,0207523625922,726
Positive Reading With No Actual Value041111430
Unknown if tested03122542,2893253,180
Total2532,5319,44734,6287,39584,026

Search Criteria:
Year2008



 

Police-Reported Alcohol Involvement Were 6,292 or 17.2% of All Traffic Deaths in 2008 


STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
   
Death YearPolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Blank126584116105571
Not Applicable 1320,4163,06621,6381,62646,759
20081111,8106,29212,8405,65436,607
20090405301085
Unknown000404
Total2532,5319,44734,6287,39584,026
Search Criteria:
Year2008

 



Persons Killed, by Highest Driver Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in the Crash, 1994 - 2007 - State : USA

SELECT REPORT CRITERIA:

 
YearBAC = .00BAC = .01-.07BAC = .08+BAC=.01+*Total Number
NumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercent
199424,948612,236513,3903315,6263840,716
199525,768622,416613,4783215,8933841,817
199626,052622,415613,4513215,8663842,065
199726,902642,216512,7573014,9733642,013
199826,477642,353612,5463014,8993641,501
199926,798642,235512,5553014,7903541,717
200026,082622,422613,3243215,7463841,945
200126,334622,441613,2903115,7313742,196
200227,080632,321513,4723115,7933743,005
200327,328642,327513,0963115,4233642,884
200427,413642,212513,0993115,3113642,836
200527,423632,404613,5823115,9853743,510
200626,633622,479613,4913215,9703742,708
200725,555622,388612,9983215,3873741,059
Note: NHTSA estimates alcohol involvement when alcohol test results are unknown.
*Total Number - Total includes fatalities in crashes in which there was no driver or motorcycle rider present.

[Editor's Note: The above table which suggests that 37% of drivers had a BAC greater than 0.1 (not .01) contradicts the database which shows that a total of only 15% of those allegedly tested were proven to have had a BAC greater than .01]



 

2,698 or 28.6% of Police-Reported Alcohol-Involvement Were Young Drivers

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons

 

  
AgePolice-Reported Alcohol InvolvementTotal
Blank No (Alcohol Not Involved) Yes (Alcohol Involved) Not Reported Unknown (Police Reported)
Up To One Year19902063309
1 Year013003323465
2 Years010403143421
3 Years012703261454
4 Years010803174429
5 Years012102784403
6 Years011602791396
7 Years111802824405
8 Years010702844395
9 Years010703003410
10 Years010202723377
11 Years010303085416
12 Years010912944408
13 Years014923314486
14 Years01761445313656
15 Years02562164937963
16 Years155773901761,608
17 Years07731211,0691132,076
18 Years09482271,2392082,622
19 Years08413251,2072242,597
20 Years28393391,0391872,406
21 Years07664469752112,398
22 Years16724108902142,187
23 Years06783618792182,136
24 Years06283967442021,970







14.2% of Men Drivers and 5.6% of Women Drivers Were Police-Reported Alcohol-Involvement

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
Police-Reported Alcohol InvolvementSexTotal
Blank Male Female Unknown
Blank4138025
No (Alcohol Not Involved)021,64910,66222032,531
Yes (Alcohol Involved)07,9141,52949,447
Not Reported020,68413,34659834,628
Unknown (Police Reported)05,3941,6583437,395
Total455,65427,2031,16584,026
Search Criteria:
Year2008



9,420 or 11.2% of all Persons Tested Had a BAC > .10

STATE: AllYEAR: 2008COUNT: Number of Persons
Alcohol Test ResultSexTotal
Blank Male Female Unknown
Blank484628141,135
0.00 % BAC012,8115,662518,478
0.01 % BAC0198710269
0.02 % BAC0237630300
0.03 % BAC0180460226
0.04 % BAC0192430235
0.05 % BAC0220450265
0.06 % BAC0230501281
0.07 % BAC0249540303
0.08 % BAC0267711339
0.09 % BAC0280580338
0.10 % BAC0270690339
0.11 % BAC0321530374
0.12 % BAC0368680436
0.13 % BAC0377730450
0.14 % BAC0455830538
0.15 % BAC04391030542
0.16 % BAC0476970573
0.17 % BAC0463910554
0.18 % BAC0464820546
0.19 % BAC04361070543
0.20 % BAC0418771496
0.21 % BAC0455701526
0.22 % BAC0403630466
0.23 % BAC0371750446
0.24 % BAC0346670413
0.25 % BAC0283500333
0.26 % BAC0246410287
0.27 % BAC0242370279
0.28 % BAC0183400223
0.29 % BAC0160290189
0.30 % BAC0140190159
0.31 % BAC0109230132
0.32 % BAC092120104
0.33 % BAC0697076
0.34 % BAC0689077
0.35 % BAC0537060
0.36 % BAC0436049
0.37 % BAC0436049
0.38 % BAC0286034
0.39 % BAC0275032
0.40 % BAC0215026
0.41 % BAC0141015
0.42 % BAC07007
0.43 % BAC03205
0.44 % BAC07209
0.45 % BAC05005
0.46 % BAC04004
0.47 % BAC01102
0.48 % BAC01001
0.49 % BAC05005
0.52 % BAC00011
0.53 % BAC02103
0.54 % BAC00202
0.55 % BAC00101
0.56 % BAC01001
0.57 % BAC01102
0.58 % BAC03003
0.60 % BAC00101
0.66 % BAC01001
0.80 % BAC01001
Test Refused05113064
None Given027,64817,7491,04046,437
AC Test Performed,Results Unknown02,05966702,726
Positive Reading With No Actual Value0237030
Unknown if tested02,2388311113,180
Total455,65427,2031,16584,026
Search Criteria:
Year2008