Traffic Safety Facts: Alcohol-Impaired Driving
Drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) are .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Thus, any fatal crash involving a driver with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher is considered to be an alcohol-impaired-driving crash, and fatalities occurring in those crashes are considered to be alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities. The term “drunk driving” is used instead of alcohol-impaired driving in some other NHTSA communications and material. The term “driver” refers to the operator of any motor vehicle, including a motorcycle.
Estimates of alcohol-impaired driving are generated using BAC values reported to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and BAC values imputed when they are not reported. In this fact sheet NHTSA uses the term “alcohol-impaired” in evaluating the FARS statistics. In all cases throughout this fact sheet, use of the term does not indicate that a crash or a fatality was caused by alcohol impairment, only that an alcohol-impaired driver was involved in the crash. This report also includes BACs of .00 g/dL (no alcohol), .01+ g/dL, and .15+ g/dL solely for comparison purposes.
Read the fact sheet here.