Alcohol Impaired Driving

Breathalyzer

Alcohol-impairment is a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. In 2015, 10,265 people were killed in crashes involving a alcohol-impaired driver, 29 percent of all fatalities.1 Of all those killed, 69 percent (6,852) were in crashes in which at least one driver had a BAC of .15 g/dL or higher.Drive Sober

State and local law enforcement officials work year-round to identify drunk drivers and get them off our roads. At specific times throughout the year, these efforts are amplified through the national drunk driving crackdown: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. GHSA's member State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) work with their state and local law enforcement partners on this campaign, which combines high visibility law enforcement and public awareness to deter or detect drunk drivers. Many states also conduct sobriety checkpoints throughout the year.

GHSA Policy

Click here to view GHSA's Policies and Priorities on Impaired Driving.

Many drunk drivers are repeat offenders. To prevent those convicted of drunk driving from making the same bad decision again, ignition interlocks are often employed. These devices analyze a driver's breath and disable the engine if alcohol is detected. Judges can mandate that all or a portion of convicted drunk drivers install interlocks in their cars for a specified period of time. All states now operate some type of ignition interlock program.

1 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2016, August). 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 318). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812318

Facts & Figures

Alcohol-Impaired Fatalities Up 3.2%
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Laws

All states define driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent as a crime, but specific laws and penalties vary substantially from state to state.

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