Table 2-25: Fatalities by Highest Blood Alcohol Concentration

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 (R) 2002a 2003
Total fatalities 43,825 44,599 41,508 39,250 40,150 40,716 41,817 42,065 42,013 41,501 41,717 41,945 42,196 43,005 42,643
Fatalities in alcohol-related crashes 23,167 22,587 20,159 18,290 17,908 17,308 17,732 17,749 16,711 16,673 16,572 17,380 17,400 17,524 17,013
Percent of total 52.9 50.6 48.6 46.6 44.6 42.5 42.4 42.2 38.5 40.2 39.7 41.4 41.2 40.7 39.9
BAC = 0.00                              
Number 20,659 22,012 21,349 20,960 22,242 23,409 24,085 24,316 25,302 24,828 25,145 24,565 24,796 25,481 25,630
Percent of total 47.1 49.4 51.4 53.4 55.4 57.5 57.6 57.8 61.5 59.8 60.3 58.6 58.8 59.3 60.1
BAC = 0.01 - 0.07                              
Number 3,081 2,980 2,560 2,443 2,361 2,322 2,490 2,486 2,290 2,465 2,321 2,511 2,542 2,432 2,383
Percent of total 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 5.7 5.6
BAC = 0.08+                              
Number 20,086 19,607 17,599 15,847 15,547 14,985 15,242 15,263 14,421 14,207 14,250 14,870 14,858 15,093 14,630
Percent of total 45.8 44.0 42.4 40.4 38.7 36.8 36.4 36.3 30.3 34.2 34.2 35.5 35.2 35.1 34.3

KEY: BAC = blood alcohol concentration.

aThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) typically revises its most recent annual estimates the following year. The data here remain unrevised from the date of publication, but may be revised in the future.

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

1985-2002: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts 2002, DOT HS 809 620 (Washington, DC: 2004), table 13.

2003: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2003: Alcohol, DOT 809 761 (Washington, DC: 2004), Internet site http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/Availlnf.html as of Sept. 21, 2004 and personal communication Nov. 17, 2004.