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Wisconsin Drunk Driving Statistics

The Most Shocking OWI Facts: Why to Never Drink & Drive

If you've heard the radio advertisements Grieve Law airs in the Greater Milwaukee area, you've heard the first message criminal defense attorney Tom Grieve has to offer: never drive drunk. If you've heard the first warning, then you've also heard the second: never drive drunk. For those who continue to fall into the mental trap of thinking they can drink and drive, please consider the powerful slew of drunk driving statistics below, or read about one Wisconsin resident who racked up a record number of DUI convictions. The most shocking OWI facts speak the most powerful warning of all: truth.

Too late? Learn about Wisconsin drunk driving charges:

Alcohol-Related Car Accident Deaths Increased in 2015

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-related crashes were responsible for 10, 265 deaths across the nation in 2015. This represents an increase of 3.2 percent over the previous year (in 2014, 9943 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes).

There were approximately 24,000 convictions for drunken driving offenses in Wisconsin in 2015.

Alcohol-related crashes killed 190 people in Wisconsin and injured nearly 2,900 in 2015. Wisconsin Department of Transportation, http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/drunk-drv/default.aspx

In 2015, there were 5,174 alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin. An average of one person was killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash every 2.9 hours on Wisconsin roadways. Alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin accounted for 4.3% of all crashes. Wisconsin Department of Transportation, http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/drunk-drv/ddcrash.aspx

During 2015, 28,790 people were arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, including 275 persons who were under 18.Of the 25,734 OWI citations adjudicated in Wisconsin during 2015, 93% of the drivers were found guilty. This total included 4,475 cases where the driver refused the alcohol test. 94% of the people who refused the alcohol test were found guilty of OWI. Wisconsin Department of Transportation, http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/drunk-drv/ddarrests.aspx

 

2014 Stats About Drinking and Driving

Drunk Driving Statistics

Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2014. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812102.pdf

Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $800 per year.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf

Drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion a year.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf

Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf

On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf

 

 

 

More Terrifying Drunk Driving Stats by Year

2013 - 10,076 People Die in Alcohol-Related Crashes

Drunk Driving CostsEach day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States: 2013”

Almost half of all 10th graders drink alcohol.
Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2013). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2012. Volume I: Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, 604 pp

In 2013, a total of 1,149 children 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those 1,149 fatalities, 200 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. Out of those 200 deaths, 121 (61%) were occupants of vehicles with drivers who had BACs of .08 or higher, and another 29 children (15%) were pedestrians or pedalcyclists struck by drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.
NHTSA data query, 2013

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Overview”. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013. and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Young Drivers”. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013

In 2013, 10,076 people died in drunk driving crashes - one every 52 minutes - and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2014. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812102.pdf. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf

2012 - 29.1 Million People Admit to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

In 2012, 10.3 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2012SummNatFindDetTables/NationalFindings/NSDUHresults2012.htm#ch3.1.10

Nationally, 1.9% of people report driving after drinking too much. In Wisconsin, 3.1% report driving after drinking too much.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2012

Wisconsin Stats DUIs

Impairment is not determined by the type of drink, but rather by the amount of alcohol drunk over time.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Q&A: Alcohol: General.” Arlington, VA: National Highway Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, March 2012

In 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol - that’s more than the population of Texas. 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013

Over 1.2 Million DUI-Related Arrests Took Place in 2011

2011 Drunk Driving Information

Drunk driving involvement in fatal crashes in 2011 was 4.5 times higher at night than during the day (36 versus 8 percent).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Alcohol-Impaired Driving” Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012

Almost half of all drivers who were killed in crashes and tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system.
Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2011). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2011. Volume I: Secondary school students (NIH Publication No. 10-7584). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 734 pp

Over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States: 2013”

Males were more likely than females (15.1 vs. 7.9 percent) to drive drunk.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States: 2011”

The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25 year olds (23.4 percent).
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.” September 2011

In fatal crashes in 2011, the highest percentage of drunk drivers was for drivers ages 21 to 24 (32 percent), followed by ages 25 to 34 (30 percent) and 35 to 44 (24 percent).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Alcohol-Impaired Driving” Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012

In 2011, 15 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes during the week were drunk, compared to 31 percent on weekends.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Alcohol-Impaired Driving” Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010 and Earlier (yet Equally Shocking)

An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
Centers for Disease Control. “Vital Signs: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults — United States, 2010.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 4, 2011

About 30 percent of 8th graders have tried alcohol.
Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O’Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003

The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour.
Michigan State University. “Basic Alcohol Information.” East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, 2003

Number of OWIs per YearOnly time will sober a person up. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower will not help.
Michigan State University. “Basic Alcohol Information.” East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, 2003

One in six teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.
Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O’Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003

Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year - that’s more than all illegal drugs combined. 
Hingson, Ralph and D. Kenkel. “Social and Health Consequences of Underage Drinking.” In press. As quoted in Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O’Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003

A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which contain the same amount of alcohol.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention in the Medical Setting." DOT HS 809 467. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July 2002

Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
Hingson, Ralph, et al. “Age of Drinking Onset, Driving After Drinking, and Involvement in Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes.” DOT HS 809 188. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, January 2001

High school students who use alcohol or other substances are five times more likely to drop out of school.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Volume 1: Secondary School Students”, National Survey Results on Drug Use from The Monitoring the Future Study, 1975-1997. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, 1998

About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
Fell, Jim. “Repeat DWI Offenders in the United States.” Washington, DC: National Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Tech No. 85, February 1995

50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.
Peck, R.C., Wilson, R. J., and Sutton, L. 1995. “Driver license strategies for controlling the persistent DUI offender, Strategies for Dealing with the intent Drinking Driver.” Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Circular No. 437. Washington, D.C. National Research Council: 48-49 and Beck, KH, et al. “Effects of Ignition Interlock License Restrictions on Drivers with Multiple Alcohol Offenses: A Randomized Trial in Maryland.” American Journal of Public Health, 89 vol. 11 (1999): 1696-1700

If you've contributed to any of the shocking statistics above, contact our Drunk Driving Attorneys for another chance.