Page last updated: March 27, 2017

Driving under the influence of alcohol and illicit drugs

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) based on the most recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows a steady drop in the rate of driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year (from 15.3% in 2002 to 11.1% in 2014). In particular, sharp declines occurred among people 21-25 years old, whose rate dropped from 29.9% in 2002 to 18.9% in 2014. The report shows that a significant number of Americans still report that they drove under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit substances in 2014. In the past year, 27.7 million people aged 16 or older (11.1%) drove under the influence of alcohol compared to 10.1 million (4.1%) who drove under the influence of illicit. drugs. About 7.0 million (2.8%) drove under the influence of both alcohol and illicit drugs in the past year, with 5.9 million of them driving under the simultaneous influence of alcohol and illicit drugs.

The percentage of people driving under the influence generally increased with age through the young adult years and then declined with age thereafter; percentages were higher among males than females. The percentage of people aged 16 or older who drove under the influence of alcohol in 2014 (11.1%) was lower than the percentages in 2002 through 2012 (ranging from 11.8 to 15.3%). The percentage of people aged 16 or older who drove under the simultaneous influence of alcohol and illicit drugs was lower in 2014 (2.4%) than in 2002 through 2010 (ranging from 2.9 to 3.4%).

samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2688/ShortReport-2688.html
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