How Many Deaths Due to Drunk Driving in the United States in 2020?
Thousands of American lives are lost every year due to drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving was responsible for 10,511 deaths in the United States in 2018. The number of fatal alcohol-related crashes was up 9% from 2019. In all, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2020.
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The NHTSA also released a report analyzing the types of vehicles involved in these crashes. It reveals that the most common vehicle involved in fatal crashes was passenger cars. The second most common vehicle was SUVs. The report also notes that most alcohol-impaired fatal crashes occurred on non-interstate roadways. Among the vehicles involved in these crashes, nearly all saw an increase in alcohol-impaired fatal crashes from 2019 to 2020.
The number of deaths due to drunk driving in the United States in 2020 was one of the highest in years. The number of fatal alcohol-related crashes was higher than the number of fatal traffic accidents in 20 states. The most deadly day for drunk driving was New Year’s Day. This is not surprising because alcohol impairs judgment. The number of drunk driving fatalities is also higher during the summer months. The NHTSA reports that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”
The CDC reports that 30 alcohol-related deaths occur every day in the United States. These include fatal crashes, DUI arrests, and DUI wrongful death. It also states that these deaths cost the nation an estimated $44 billion annually. The number of people killed due to drunk driving varies by age, gender, and geographic location. The highest number of DUI deaths occurs among males.
Alcohol-impaired driving is considered a major cause of traffic accidents, which is one reason why it is illegal in all states. According to the FBI, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2018. Some courts have programs to allow drivers to avoid convictions if they can prove that they are under the influence of alcohol. Fortunately, technology has made it easier for people to get a ride while they are sober.
Drivers who are convicted of a DUI can face a fine of up to $10,000. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that one in three fatal car accidents involves a drunk driver. 67 percent of all alcohol-impaired fatalities involved crashes that had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 g/dL or higher. The number of deaths attributed to drunk driving is higher than the number of DUI arrests. Among drivers who were convicted of a DUI, the average BAC was.11 g/dL, which is 7 times higher than the national average.
While the number of drunk driving fatalities has decreased significantly in the last three decades, the total number of DUI arrests has increased. The number of DUI arrests was higher in the first quarter of 2018 than in the first quarter of 2012. The FBI reports that there were more than 1 million drivers arrested for DUI in 2018. However, the actual number of offenses may be higher.