Table 2-26: Fatalities by Highest Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Highway Crashes

Table 2-26: 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 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 (R) 2008 (P) 2009
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 42,884 42,836 43,510 42,708 41,259 37,423 33,808
Fatalities in alcohol-related crashes (BAC = .01+) 21,098 20,607 18,307 16,401 16,039 15,626 15,893 15,866 14,973 14,899 14,790 15,746 15,731 15,793 15,423 15,311 15,985 15,970 15,534 13,826 12,744
Percent 48.1 46.2 44.1 41.8 39.9 38.4 38.0 37.7 35.6 35.9 35.5 37.5 37.3 36.7 36.0 35.7 36.7 37.4 37.6 36.9 37.7
BAC = 0.00                                          
Number 22,589 23,823 23,025 22,726 23,979 24,948 25,768 26,052 26,902 26,477 26,798 26,082 26,334 27,080 27,328 27,413 27,423 26,633 25,611 23,499 20,961
Percent 51.5 53.4 55.5 57.9 59.7 61.3 61.6 61.9 64.0 63.8 64.2 62.2 62.4 63.0 63.7 64.0 63.0 62.4 62.1 62.8 62.0
BAC = 0.01 - 0.07                                          
Number 2,974 2,901 2,480 2,352 2,300 2,236 2,416 2,415 2,216 2,353 2,235 2,422 2,441 2,321 2,327 2,212 2,404 2,479 2,494 2,115 1,905
Percent 6.8 6.5 6.0 6.0 5.7 5.5 5.8 5.7 5.3 5.7 5.4 5.8 5.8 5.4 5.4 5.2 5.5 5.8 6.0 5.7 5.6
BAC = 0.08+                                          
Number 18,125 17,705 15,827 14,049 13,739 13,390 13,478 13,451 12,757 12,546 12,555 13,324 13,290 13,472 13,096 13,099 13,582 13,491 13,041 11,711 10,839
Percent 41.4 39.7 38.1 35.8 34.2 32.9 32.2 32.0 30.4 30.2 30.1 31.8 31.5 31.3 30.5 30.6 31.2 31.6 31.6 31.3 32.1

KEY: BAC = blood alcohol concentration; P = preliminary; 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 for Fatalities in alcohol-related crashes (BAC = .01+) may not add to totals due to rounding.

In 2001, the 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. 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+.

SOURCE

U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts 2009: Early Edition (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), table 13, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/Index.aspx as of Feb. 1, 2011.