Alcohol-impaired driving crashes account for nearly 11,000 crash fatalities, or about one third of all crash fatalities in the United States.
CDC analysed data from the 2010 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System survey to obtain the prevalence, episodes, and rates of alcohol-impaired driving (defined as driving “when you’ve had perhaps too much to drink” in the past 30 days) among US adults aged ≥18 years who responded to the survey by landline telephone.
In 2010, an estimated 4 million US adult respondents reported at least one episode of alcohol-impaired driving, for an estimated total of approximately 112 million alcohol-impaired driving episodes or 479 episodes per 1,000 adult population. From a peak in 2006, such episodes decreased 30% through 2010. Men accounted for 81% of all episodes with young men aged 21--34 years accounting for 32% of all episodes. Additionally, 85% of alcohol-impaired driving episodes were reported by persons who also reported binge drinking, and the 4.5% of the adult population who reported binge drinking at least four
times per month accounted for 55% of all alcohol- impaired driving episodes. Episode rates were nearly four times higher among persons who reported not always wearing seatbelts compared with persons who reported always wearing seatbelts.
The authors conclude that rates of self-reported alcohol-impaired driving have declined substantially in recent years. However, rates remain disproportionally high among young men, binge drinkers, and those who do not always wear a seat belt. The Authors recommend that states and communities should continue current evidence- based strategies, such as sobriety checkpoints and enforcement of 0.08 g/dL blood alcohol concentration laws to deter the public from driving while impaired. Additionally, all states should consider requiring ignition interlocks on the vehicles of all persons convicted of alcohol-impaired driving. States without primary seatbelt laws should consider enacting them to reduce fatalities in alcohol- impaired driving crashes.