Most Drunk Drivers Causing Fatal Crashes Have Almost Twice Legal Blood Alcohol Limit

Almost three-quarters of deaths in drunk driving crashes in 2010 involved drivers who had blood alcohol levels that were nearly twice the .08 legal limit, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday.

NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland called for mandatory ignition-interlock devices, which are designed to prevent drunk drivers from starting their cars, for first-time offenders, Business Week reports. Seventeen states require ignition interlocks for first-time offenders, the article notes.

Drivers who have had an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle must blow into it to determine their blood alcohol level before they can start it. The blood alcohol content that drivers using interlocks are allowed to have is determined by states. A study published in 2011 found that ignition locks significantly reduce the likelihood that people convicted of driving while drunk will reoffend.

A national law that takes effect October 1 will provide states with extra highway funds if they have interlock laws for convicted drunk drivers, according to the article.

The 10,228 alcohol-related vehicle deaths in 2010 accounted for nearly one out of three highway deaths on U.S. roads, according to a NHTSA news release.

The NHTSA is sponsoring its annual anti-drunk driving campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” along with local law enforcement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Governors Highway Safety Association and the National Center for DWI Courts. The campaign begins August 17 and continues through Labor Day weekend.

6 Responses to Most Drunk Drivers Causing Fatal Crashes Have Almost Twice Legal Blood Alcohol Limit

  1. Joshua | August 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    if the people who are dangerous as drunk drivers hava a BAC 2x the legal limit, does this not suggest that the legal limit might be too low?

    • peryrants | August 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      let me clarify the stats for you:
      7,500 dead at or above .16
      2,500 above .08 to .15

  2. ichoosefreedom | August 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve asked before and gotten no response to this question: Has ANYONE studied these DUI fatalities’ locations? In Ohio, off premise consumption of HARD LIQUOR increased over 22,000,000 bottles since the year prior to the SMOKING BAN IN BARS. I’ve long contended that smoking bans have increased DUI fatalities (yes, Ohio IS one of those states) and have increased domestic violence. Perhaps, forcing people to change behaviors in the name of public health is actually creating more public health problems than if you’d just left people alone. Adults ARE going to drink! Most adults who drink, SMOKE. Only now the do-gooding, “I know what’s better for you than you do” groups are forcing these people underground, so to speak. And they’ve created more danger for the family and public. But of course, my comments won’t get posted.

    • peryrants | August 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      seems that your post was posted. yes, they have done studies on the locations of the dwi fatalities. they ALL occur on the highways! not sure how lack of indoor smoking creates a death? please explain your theory on this,

  3. peryrants | August 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    just a few years ago the median bac at death was twice the legal limit at .16. now it appears that 25% more folks are dead at that .16.

  4. maxwood | August 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    ichoosefreedom raises a good point, my answer is: SMOKING BAN OK, but add permission to use VAPORIZER or E-CIGARETTE, including sales or rental of these for use in the bar or store! The addict’s body craves the nicotine, not the carbon monoxide and 421 other overspilling mindnumbing toxins. Modern technology to the rescue!

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