Since 1982, drunk driving fatalities on our nation’s roadways have decreased 48%, while total traffic fatalities have declined nearly 18%. Among persons under 21, drunk driving fatalities have decreased by 80%. Despite this progress, we still have more work to do, and our commitment to eliminate drunk driving is stronger than ever. Hardcore drunk drivers continue to wreak havoc on our nation’s road accounting for 70% of drunk driving fatalities, where there is a known alcohol-test result for the driver – a trend that has remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade.
Our state map allows you to search and review individual state drunk driving and under 21 drinking statistics and see how they compare to the national trends. Also available to download and share is our State of Drunk Driving Fatalities in America summary which includes tables and graphs summarizing the latest information available on drunk driving fatality statistics.
In 2017, the rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population was 3.3, representing a 63% decrease since 1982, when record-keeping began, and a 46% decrease since the inception of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in 1991.
Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2017. Between 1991 and 2017, the rate of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 population has decreased 47% nationally, and 68% among those under 21. These statistics and others are positive indicators of the gains being made to fight drunk driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,133 people died in traffic crashes in 2017 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 10,874 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 68% (7,368) were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a BAC of .15 or higher.