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Did You Know?

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans from age 3 to 33.
  • One young person dies every 3 hours from an alcohol related car crash.
  • Alcohol was involved in 32 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2007.
  • Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public more than $50 billion in 2000, and 75 percent of these costs occurred in crashes where a driver or non-occupant had a blood alcohol concentration of (BAC) of .10 or higher. (remember, .08 is the law)
  • About every 31 minutes, someone is killed in the United States in an alcohol-related crash.
  • Impaired driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the United States.
  • About one-third of all drivers arrested for DWI have a previous DWI conviction.
  • It is estimated that half of all drivers arrested and half of those convicted of DWI have BAC’s of .15 or above.
  • The median age at which children begin drinking is 13. Young people who begin drinking at age 15 are 4 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.
  • 513,000 people are injured (many critically) in alcohol-related crashes each year, an average of 59 people per hour or approximately one every minute.
  • On the average 3 people DIE per hour in an alcohol related crash.

How Effective Are Repeat Intoxicated Driver Laws?

Research has shown that driver-licensing sanctions have a significant impact on impaired driving in general. Licensing sanctions imposed under State administrative license revocation systems (not the criminal justice system) have resulted in reductions in alcohol-related fatalities of between 6% and 9%. Although many repeat intoxicated drivers continue to drive without a license after their license has been revoked, studies have shown that those who drive tend to drive less frequently and more carefully. For further information about licensing sanctions, see NHTSA's Traffic Safety Facts-Administrative License Revocation.

Additional sanctions including a variety of vehicle sanction programs, have been applied successfully to deter repeat DWI offenses. California's vehicle impoundment program resulted in substantially fewer subsequent offenses. One-third of all driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) or driving-under-the-influence (DUI) arrests each year involve drivers convicted previously of DWI/DUI.