Legal Statistics & FactsApproximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 1999 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 121 licensed drivers in the United States (2000 data not yet available).
[NHTSA, NCSA 2000 ]
In 2000, about 1,400 fatalities occurred in crashes
involving 1,260 alcohol-impaired or intoxicated drivers who had
at least one previous DUI or DWI conviction - about 8.5 percent of all
alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
Among the 5.3 million convicted offenders under the
jurisdiction of corrections agencies in 1996, nearly 2 million,
or about 36 percent, were estimated to have been drinking at
the time of the offense.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 40 percent of
persons convicted of homicide and 25 percent of victims had
been drinking at the time of the event.
One arrest is made for driving under the influence for every
772 episodes of driving within two hours of drinking and for
every 88 episodes of driving over the legal limit in the U.S.
Facts About Repeat Offenders
The risk of a driver who has one or more DUI or DWI convictions
becoming involved in a fatal crash is about 1.4 times the risk
of a driver with no DUI or DWI conviction.
Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
suggest that only a few percent of fatal crashes involve
drivers who have recent convictions of DUI or DWI, and studies in
California have found that only 8 percent of drivers in fatal
crashes had one or more DUI or DWI offenses on their driver records.
However, studies in Minnesota suggest a much higher percentage.
Drivers with prior convictions for driving while impaired by
alcohol are over-represented among drivers in fatal crashes;
drivers convicted of alcohol-impaired driving in the past three
years are at least 1.8 times as likely to be in fatal crashes
as drivers with no prior convictions during the same time
period and are at least four times as likely to be in fatal
crashes in which drivers have high BACs (0.10 or more).
However, it is important to note that 87 percent of drivers
with high BACs in fatal crashes have no alcohol convictions
during the previous three years.
About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of
driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of
alcohol are repeat offenders.