It’s no surprise to anyone that drinking and driving are unsafe, illegal, and easily preventable. As a personal injury lawyer focused on helping the victims of drunk and distracted drivers, I come across new facts about drinking and driving often. Here are some that surprised me or made me realize even more how dangerous it is. 

  1. In the US alone, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. 
  2. Alcohol is responsible for nearly half of auto vehicle crashes where a teen is killed (46%).
  3. In 40% of traffic deaths in the US at any age, alcohol is involved.
  4. It doesn’t take much. Studies reveal that 3 or 4 regular sized beers for a 170 pound male make him too drunk to drive. For a woman of average size, it may only take 1 to 3. 
  5. About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
  6. An estimated 27,000 lives have been saved with the passage of the 21 minimum drinking age law.
  7. You’re already paying for it. On average, drunk driving costs an American adult $800 per year. 
  8. Think coffee, a cold shower, or a workout will help you work the alcohol out of your system? No, only time can do that.
  9. About one-third of those arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders.
  10. Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.
  11. When installed, ignition interlocks (which I wrote about here) are associated with about a 70% reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving.
  12. Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 % or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2013, one out of every 3 were between 21 and 24 years of age (33%). The next two largest groups were ages 25 to 34 (29%) and 35 to 44 (24%)


CDC Impaired Driving Factsheet
MADD Statistics 

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, call Bill Coats Law right away. With twenty years’ experience, we will help you through a difficult time and get the money you deserve for your injuries and hardships. 



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