Drunk Driving Statistics In 2022


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: DECEMBER 15, 2022 | 3 MIN READ

While we strive hard to protect our lives and our families while on the road, there may still be drivers that aren’t protecting lives while driving. On average, 29 people die daily in the U.S. because of driving while drunk. Below we’ll review some startling statistics regarding drunk driving rates in the United States.

Drunk Driving Rates In The United States

Believe it or not, statistics regarding drunk driving vary depending on gender, age, and location. Younger people, those who have previously had a DUI, and motorcyclists tend to have more of a tendency to drive while intoxicated. Let’s look at how different factors affect drunk driving rates in the United States.

Gender: According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), men are four times more likely to get involved in a drunk driving accident when compared to women. Men make up around 80% of fatal drunk-driving car accidents. Men also account for more drunk driving arrests and DUI charges than women.

Age

The younger the adult, the more at-risk they are for drunk driving. Adults between the ages of 21 – 24 make up more than 27% of fatal car accidents that had alcohol involved. Adults between the ages of 25 – 34 account for over 25% of fatal drunk driving incidents.

Location

Drunk driving is certainly not state-specific, affecting the entire country. But, there are certain states within the country where drunk driving and drunk driving deaths are more prevalent. Let’s take a look at some of the state statistics when it comes to alcohol-related driving rates.

States With The Most Drunk Driving Fatalities

States With The Least Amount Of Drunk Driving Fatalities

What Are DUIs and DWIs?

While DUIs and DWIs may sound similar, they have pretty significant differences. DUIs mean driving under the influence, and DWIs means driving while intoxicated. You could get a DUI if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drug use. 

It’s important to know that drugs don’t necessarily need to be illicit to be charged with a DUI. As long as they have impaired you to drive, they could also be over-the-counter medications or prescriptions. Each state uses it’s discretion when charging an individual with either a DUI or DWI. One of the considerations is considering the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. 

On a federal level, the BAC legal limit is 0.08%. Law enforcement uses a breathalyzer tool to measure your BAC level, measuring alcohol levels in an impaired driver’s bloodstream. So, if your BAC is above 0.08%, you’ll likely get arrested for driving under the influence. Many states could charge underage drivers for measuring even a 0.01% BAC level because of underage drinking.

Which Days Of The Week Have The Most DUIs?

The busiest days of the week for DUIs and DUI traffic crashes fall on the weekends. Why? Most people are off on the weekends, and bars and restaurants stay open significantly later. 

The riskiest day of the week to be on the road is Saturday, followed by Sunday, because so many DUI-related car accidents happen after midnight on Saturday. The typical week sees around 24% of accidents being related to alcohol. 

Of those accidents, nearly 22% occur on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday is the least likely day to encounter a drunk driver. 

Holidays And DUIs

Holidays are known widely for parties, and parties are typically known for serving alcohol. So, it’s no wonder the holidays tend to carry the highest rates of drunk driving on the roads more than any other time of year. 

New Year’s Eve and Day are the most popular time for drunk driving. Fatal crashes increase 116% on New Year’s Day, compared to typical days throughout the week. 

Independence Day (also known as the 4th of July) is the second-leading holiday in which DUIs exponentially increase. Drunk driving crashes increase by over 78% during the 4th of July weekend. Next is Thanksgiving. Drunk driving accidents increased more than 56% on this third Thursday of November. 

Labor Day ranks fourth, with car crashes increasing by 54% compared to average weekdays. Memorial Day accidents rise by 50% due to alcohol compared to typical weekdays. The least popular holiday to experience a drunk driver is Christmas Day since most families tend to stay in the comforts of home on this day.

What Can Happen If You Drive While Intoxicated?

Driving while drunk can have some serious and dangerous implications. Not only could you injure or even kill yourself if you get on the roadways while drunk, but you could also injure or kill an innocent person or people. If something terrible and tragic like that were to happen, you’d quickly find yourself in an enormous rut. 

Financial, physical, and emotional stress will undoubtedly kick in. You could be charged with vehicular manslaughter and even end up in prison if you accidentally kill someone during an accident. You’ll face tens of thousands of dollars worth of fines and legal fees, potentially lose your license and vehicle, be required to carry costly SR-22 insurance coverage, and so much more. 

If you value your life, others’ lives, and peace and security, you will make the incredibly wise decision not to get behind the wheel while drunk. Designated drivers are excellent options for those who wish to indulge and have a few drinks without having to fear causing an accident.

How Does drunk driving Affect Car Insurance Premiums?

Alcohol-impaired driving has serious consequences. Not only do you risk injury or death to yourself or others, but you could face severe repair costs if involved in an accident and significant issues with your driver’s license and insurance. If you get pulled over or involved in a car accident and under the influence, you’ll be charged with a DUI or DWI. 

When either of these charges is on your driving record, they significantly change your ability to have car insurance. You’ll likely be deemed a high-risk driver at this point, which means you’ll pay a hefty increase in insurance premiums, as the insurance company views your driving as a liability. The average insurance policy for a motorist with a clean driving record will run you around $1,400 – $1,500 annually. 

Once you have a DUI or DWI, your car insurance can increase costs between $800 – $3,000 in annual premium costs. Of course, every situation is unique and will vary, so it’s best to discuss these specific scenarios with your insurance company. 

FAQs

What Percentage of People Drive Drunk?

A whopping 43% of adults admit to having driven while drunk in the United States. And the majority of those drivers are men, weighing in at 56%, while only 29% of women admit to driving drunk.

What Age Range Has the Highest Rate of Drunk Driving?

The age range that has the highest rate of drunk drivers is the millennial generation. This generational age group comprises adults between the ages of 25 and 39. 

How Many Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in the U.S. Each Year?

Around 10,000 motor vehicle crashes occur yearly in the U.S. because of drunk driving. That’s equivalent to a drunk driving accident occurring nearly every 52 minutes.

In the U.S., nearly 6 million car accidents occur annually. Based on this number, over 28% of car accidents are caused by impairment due to alcohol use. 

How Many People Die Due to Drunk Driving?

Each day, around 28 people die at the hands of drunk driving in the United States. And annually, nearly 10,000 people die in the U.S. in alcohol or drug-induced traffic fatalities.

Find Car Insurance If You’re Convicted of a DUI

If you’ve lost your insurance in the wake of a DUI conviction, or your rates are unaffordable, know there are options for you. We have a team of dedicated and licensed insurance agents who are excellent at finding the most comprehensive coverage at the most affordable rates. Call us today, or get a quote in seconds via our online form. Let us get you back on the road again!