Table 2-25: Fatalities by Highest Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Highway Crashes

Table 2-25: Fatalities by Highest Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Highway Crashes

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  1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Total fatalities 43,825 44,599 41,508 39,250 40,150 40,716 41,817 42,065 42,013 41,501 41,717 R41,945 42,116
Fatalities in alcohol-related crashesR 23,167 22,587 20,159 18,290 17,908 17,308 17,732 17,749 16,711 16,673 16,572 17,380 17,448
Percent 52.9 50.6 48.6 46.6 44.6 42.5 42.4 42.2 38.5 40.2 39.7 41.4 41.4
BAC = 0.00                          
NumberR 20,659 22,012 21,349 20,960 22,242 23,409 24,085 24,316 25,302 24,828 25,145 24,565 24,668
Percent 47.1 49.4 51.4 53.4 55.4 57.5 57.6 57.8 61.5 59.8 60.3 58.6 58.6
BAC = 0.01 - 0.07                          
NumberR 3,081 2,980 2,560 2,443 2,361 2,322 2,490 2,486 2,290 2,465 2,321 2,511 2,515
Percent 7.0 6.7 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 6.0 5.9 8.3 5.9 5.6 6.0 6.0
BAC = 0.08+                          
NumberR 20,086 19,607 17,599 15,847 15,547 14,985 15,242 15,263 14,421 14,207 14,250 14,870 14,933
Percent 45.8 44.0 42.4 40.4 38.7 36.8 36.4 36.3 30.3 34.2 29.6 35.5 35.5

KEY: BAC = blood alcohol concentration; R = revised.

NOTES

BAC values have been assigned by U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) when alcohol test results are unknown. Alcohol-related crashes pertain to the BAC of the driver and nonoccupants struck by motor vehicles. For some years, numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

In 2001, NHTSA adopted a new method to estimate missing blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test result data. This new method, multiple imputation, is being used by NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) to improve the scope of alcohol involvement statistics by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). As a result of the methodology change, BAC 0.08 breakouts, which coincide with many state laws, can now be determined. Thus, NHTSA's general reporting categories have been modified to reflect this and are now BAC 0.00, BAC 0.01-0.07, and BAC 0.08+.

SOURCES

U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts 2000, DOT HS 809 337 (Washington, DC: December 2001), table 13 and personal communication, Sept. 10, 2002.