Many drunk drivers in fatal crashes have BAC almost twice the legal limit: report

August 22, 2012

Washington – Seventy percent of drivers involved in drunk driving-related fatalities in 2010 had a blood-alcohol concentration almost twice or more than the .08 legal limit, according to a report (.pdf file) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

Researchers evaluated 10,228 alcohol-impaired fatalities in 2010 involving one or more drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher. Among other findings:

  • The age group with the highest percentage of drivers with BACs .08 or higher was 21-24 years old.
  • Nighttime alcohol-related fatalities occurred 4 times more often than during the day.
  • The most commonly recorded BAC level recorded in alcohol-related crashes was .18.

NHTSA and partners on Aug. 17 launched the annual anti-drunk driving campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which will run until Labor Day.