It’s no secret that drunk driving accidents are a serious problem in the United States. Every year, thousands of people are killed in alcohol-related accidents. But what age group is most affected by these drunk driving accidents? And what causes them? This article will take a look at drunk driving statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to answer these questions. It will also identify the factors that contribute to drunk driving deaths and what can be done to prevent them.
Getting into a drunk driving accident can change your life, whether or not you were the one drunk driving. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In Hollywood, FL, contact the Law Office of Jared Spingarn, P.A. Jared’s team has helped victims of motor vehicle crashes and drunk driving accidents get back on their feet after the accident.
How are alcohol-impaired drivers defined?
In the United States, alcohol-impaired drivers are those who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 g/dL. Thus, if a person is found to be driving with this blood alcohol concentration level, they will be considered a drunk driver, and can possibly face charges such as driving under the influence (DUI) or a drunk driving conviction.
Drunk drivers who are first-time offenders often face a lower charge than repeat offenders. But this does not mean that the consequences are not serious. A first-time drunk driver can still get their license suspended, and may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
In some states, a DUI charge can be downgraded to a wet reckless if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was below 0.08%. But this is not always the case. A wet reckless is still a serious charge, and can result in penalties such as a fine, jail time, and license suspension.
Is it still considered alcohol-impaired driving if the BAC is below 0.08%?
Legally, and as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired driving happens when the alcohol-impaired driver records a BAC of 0.08 g/dL and above. This means that you will only be considered to be drunk driving if you reach this level. However, if you are caught driving carelessly or displaying other symptoms of intoxication, you can be accused of drunk driving, even if your BAC is lower than the legal limit.
Additionally, not all states in the country follow the 0.08 g/dL BAC rule. If you, for instance, are drunk driving in Utah or California, you can be charged with alcohol-impaired driving if you have a BAC of at least 0.05 g/dL. But in Florida, alcohol-impaired driving charges are only given to drivers with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL and above.
If you want to make sure that you do not get charged with drunk driving, the best thing to do is not drink and drive at all. If you have had anything to drink, even just one beer, it is best to take a cab or have someone else drive you home. Being vigilant of drunk driving will help you protect yourself from alcohol-impaired drivers on the road, as well as avoid fatal alcohol-impaired crashes.
Drunk Driving Statistics: How many drunk driving accidents happen annually?
The NHTSA reports the number of motor vehicle traffic fatalities that involve drunk drivers annually. The latest drunk driving statistics from the NHTSA were recorded in 2020. In that year, the administration reported 11,654 drunk driving fatalities – or one drunk driving fatality every 45 minutes. The number of drunk driving deaths recorded was equal to an estimated 30 percent of the total fatalities from car accidents in the entire country. The number of drunk driving fatalities also increased by 14.3 percent from the previous year.
Of the total number of drunk driving deaths, motorcyclists recorded the highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities, accounting for 27 percent, This was followed by drunk drivers of passenger cars, light trucks, and large trucks.
Additionally, of the total number of alcohol-related crashes, 67 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes involved a drunk driver who had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.15 g/dL, which is way above the legal limit.
What age group has the most drunk driving accidents?
With minimum drinking age laws being implemented all over the country, it is easy to assume that most drunk driving crashes are caused by teenagers and those who have not reached the legal drinking age yet. However, the answer may surprise you, because most drunk driving deaths don’t occur in the teenage age group.
In fact, data from the NHTSA shows that the 25 to 34-year-old age group was involved in the most fatal crashes related to alcohol impairment. Persons in this age group who chose to drive drunk recorded a total number of 3,100 traffic-related deaths that involved alcohol. When comparing this number to the total number of drivers, this accounted for 26% of all traffic fatalities in the same age group. Next to this age group was the 35 to 44-year-olds, recording 2,004 fatal crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
Young adults also accounted for a significant number of fatal accidents related to alcohol. In the 21 to 24-year-old age group, there were 1,288 traffic fatalities. This accounted for 26% of all drivers in the same age group.
What factors affect drunk driving in these age groups?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to why young adults and middle-aged adults are more prone to drunk driving. One factor is that this age group is more likely to consume alcohol than any other age group. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 70% of persons aged 18 or older drink alcohol regularly.
Another factor that can contribute to drunk driving in this age group is that they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors when they have been drinking. This includes things like not using a seatbelt, driving at high speeds, and not paying attention to the road.
Lastly, this age group is more likely to think that they are invincible and that they can handle their alcohol. This false sense of security can lead them to make poor decisions when they are drinking, such as getting behind the wheel of a car.
What can be done to prevent drunk driving in these age groups?
There are a number of things that can be done to help prevent drunk driving among young adults and middle-aged adults. One thing is to educate this age group on the dangers of drunk driving. This can be done through campaigns, public service announcements, and personal stories.
Another thing that can be done is to strengthen the penalties for those who are caught driving under the influence. This could include things like longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.
Lastly, it is important to provide this age group with alternative methods of transportation when they have been drinking. This could include public transportation, ride-sharing services, or designated drivers.
What should I do if I am involved in a drunk driving accident?
Car accidents can occur for various reasons, but drunk driving accidents are among the most preventable. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, there are certain steps that you should take to ensure your safety and protect your rights.
First, if you are able, move your vehicle to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you and avoid hitting your car.
Next, call the police and wait for them to arrive. The police will be able to investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. They will also be able to file a report, which can be used as evidence in court if necessary.
Then, seek medical attention, even if you do not think you are injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. A medical professional will be able to properly assess your injuries and provide you with the treatment you need.
Finally, contact Jared Spingarn, an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
What age group has the most drunk driving accidents? Although young and middle-aged adults get into the most accidents, it can happen to anyone. The good news, though, is that drunk driving accidents are completely preventable.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident either as a driver or passenger, know that you can take steps to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. And if you are tempted to drink and drive, remember that the consequences could be life-altering, not only for yourself but for others on the road.
Jared Spingarn can help you or your loved one with a drunk driving case if you have been injured in an accident. He is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has represented many clients in court and knows what it takes to win. Schedule a free consultation with Jared today to discuss your legal options.
>> If you’re involved in a drunk driving accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.