Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem in Illinois and beyond. These accidents often result in fatalities, but even when victims survive, they may be left with catastrophic, even permanent, injuries. These are some sobering statistics on drunk driving.
Frequency of drunk driving accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accidents claim the lives of around 32 people daily. This equates to one person killed every 45 minutes; in 2020 alone, nearly 11,700 people tragically lost their lives in accidents involving drivers impaired by alcohol, which marked a 14% increase compared to the previous year.
A driver can become intoxicated even after consuming a small amount of alcohol. Although the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%, even a low BAC of 0.02% can result in a devastating car accident.
Groups most affected by drunk driving
Drivers of all ages can be under the influence of alcohol, but those between the ages of 25 and 34 were most impacted in 2020. During that year, close to 12,000 people in that age group were involved in fatal crashes due to drunk driving. People age 35 to 44 were the next-most affected as nearly 9,000 were in fatal drunk driving accidents.
Most drivers responsible for serious drunk driving accidents in 2020 were male; they accounted for 77% and almost 8,500 of such collisions. However, around 2,100 women were behind the wheel in drunk driving accidents that same year.
Avoiding alcohol anytime you know you’ll be driving is the best way to remain safe and to avoid being charged with a DUI. If you know you’ll be drinking, plan ahead for a ride home, enlist a designated driver, or get a rideshare or cab to take you home.