Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.
Every day, about 28 people in America die in drunk driving car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Thus, during the 10-year period from 2010 to 2019, more than 10,000 people died each year in drunk driving crashes, according to NHTSA.
In 2019, drunk driving deaths in the United States reached their lowest level since 1982, when the NHTSA began collecting data on drunk driving deaths. with 10,142 deaths.
Overview of drink-driving statistics
Here’s a roundup of drink-driving statistics:
- According to the NHTSA, approximately one-third of car crash deaths in the United States involve drunk drivers.
- The annual cost of alcohol-related car crashes is more than $44 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Alcohol-impaired drivers got behind the wheel of a car about 147 million times in 2018, according to the CDC.
- In 2017, 32% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes while driving at night were under the influence, according to the latest NHTSA data.
- Nearly twice as many alcohol-related and fatal car crashes occur on weekends, according to NHTSA.
- In 2017, there were four impaired male drivers for every one female impaired driver on the road, according to NHTSA.
- In 2019, there were 50,930 drivers in fatal car crashes, and about 19% of drivers were impaired, according to NHTSA.
- The percentages of alcohol-impaired drivers who were involved in fatal car crashes ranged from 11% in Utah to 34% in Rhode Island.
Impaired Driving Deaths by State
Here’s the number of people who died in car crashes with alcohol-impaired drivers from 2009 to 2018, according to the most recent data from the CDC.
Drunk driving statistics by age
The highest percentage of drunk drivers are:
- 27% between 21 and 24 years old
- 25% between 25 and 34 years old
Drunk driving has a significant impact on teenage drivers. In 2019, 24% of young drivers aged 15 to 20 who died in car crashes had a blood alcohol level of 0.01 or higher.
DUI and car insurance rates
An impaired driving conviction can result in an average 67% increase in your auto insurance rates, according to Forbes Advisor’s analysis of national average rates from 10 major auto insurers.
An insurance company typically pulls your motor vehicle record when you purchase a policy or before the renewal date, and adjusts rates based on tickets, convictions, and other factors.
Drunk driving prevention strategies
Here are five initiatives aimed at preventing drink-driving:
- Sobriety checkpoints by law enforcement officers reduce the number of deaths, injuries and property damage on the road by about 20%, according to the CDC.
- On Saturation Saturday, the Saturday before Labor Day, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) teams up with law enforcement officers to host media events and promote awareness.
- Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, NHTSA’s campaign running Dec. 18 through Jan. 1, aims to educate drivers about the dangers of drunk driving.
- In states that require immobilizers for first-time drunk drivers, the number of drunk driving deaths has decreased. A driver must blow on an ignition interlock device, which is the size of a cellphone, to start the car. If there is more than a small amount of alcohol in their system, the car will not start.
- With high visibility saturation patrols, a large number of law enforcement officers patrol a specific area where drunk driving accidents are common.