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DWI: Facts & Statistics

Updated: Apr 27, 2023 @ 8:36 am

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

Drunk Driving & The Big Picture

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a huge problem in our society. The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates would like to offer a small collection of interesting impaired driving facts. We hope the following facts and statistics may help people grasp the life altering effects of drinking and driving.

Due to the efforts of advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the penalties and consequences of driving while intoxicated have become much harsher. Tad Nelson & Associates believe that through education we can encourage and convince our visitors to think carefully the next time they consider getting behind a wheel to drive after having a few too many.

DWI Facts & Statistics in Detail

  • On average someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. In 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in drunk driving related crashes a decline of 9.8 percent from the 13,041 drunk driving related fatalities of 2007MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.
  • Fifty to 75 percent of drunk drivers whose licenses are suspended continue to drive.
  • By ages 19 and 20, 70 percent of all drinkers engage in heavy drinking, suggesting that the majority of young people are at great risk of making poor decisions that have significant long-term consequences.
  • About 91 percent of all drinks consumed by teenagers are consumed by those who drink heavily.
  • From 2006 to 2007, the rate of driving under the influence of alcohol among persons aged 18 to 25 decreased from 24.4 to 22.8 percent.
  • In 2008, 92.2 percent of twelfth graders reported that alcohol is “very easy” or “fairly easy” to get.
  • In 2007, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was four times higher at night than during the day (36% versus 9%)
  • In 2007, 31.6 percent of the 41,059 traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or non-occupant had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or greater.NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • A first time drunk driving offender on average has driven drunk 87 times prior to being arrested.
  • An alarming 68% of children killed in alcohol-related crashes ride in a car with a drinking driver.
  • Recent NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) statistics indicate that alcohol-related crashes cost society $40 billion. This conservative estimate does not include pain, suffering, or lost quality of life.

Source: MADD / NHTSA


It is important for you to understand that while these facts and figures are presented by MADD and NHTSA, some people have questioned whether their methodology for collecting and reporting the data is scientifically valid. For instance, the reporting of some of this data is highly variant.

In order for an accident to be considered alcohol related, the officer must fill in a checkbox on the accident form. It is unknown how consistent such practices are throughout the nation, or throughout the State of Texas. Nonetheless, these figures should give anyone who thinks driving intoxicated is not a serious issue, pause to consider how quickly lives can be changed.

Need To Talk With a DWI Lawyer in  the Houston area?

Houston based attorneys Tad Nelson & Amber Spurlock are here to help answer any questions you may have about national DWI statistics, laws and legislation, and offer legal representation in the event you need “above average” lawyers for legal advice. We’re easy to talk to and available for our clients.

Don’t hesitate to call us and talk to us. Our phone number is 281-280-0100.

DWI Facts & National Statistics

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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