This report presents estimates of alcohol involvement in fatal traffic crashes that occurred during 1991. The data are abstracted from the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) and represent a combination of actual blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results and estimated BAC distributions for those drivers and nonoccupants for whom no BAC test results are available. The estimates are made using a model developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 1991, 38.5% of all fatal crashes involved a driver or nonoccupant with BAC of 0.10 or greater (in this report a BAC of 0.10 or greater is synonymous with intoxication). This represents a 16% reduction compared to 1982, when 46.1% of all fatal crashes involved an intoxicated active participant. Occupant fatalities resulting from crashes involving an intoxicated driver or nonoccupant totalled 13,255. Almost one-half (48.3%) of the occupant fatalities in single-vehicle crashes involved an intoxicated driver, compared with 28.0% of the occupant fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes. An estimated 40.2% of the fatalities in nonoccupant crashes involved an intoxicated driver or nonoccupant. More than two-thirds (68.9%) of the fatally injured drivers in single-vehicle fatal crashes on weekend nights were drunk. Overall, male drivers involved in fatal crashes were almost twice as likely as female drivers to be drunk (26.9% vs. 13.6%, respectively). Drivers of age 21-24 years exhibited the highest rates of intoxication (33.7%) followed by drivers of age 25-29 (33.4%). Drivers of age 16-20 years were intoxicated 20.1% of the time. Between 1982 and 1991, estimated reductions in the proportion of intoxicated drivers in fatal crashes are 24% for drivers of passenger cars, 15% for light trucks and vans, 34% for medium trucks, 59% for heavy trucks, and 5% for motorcycles. Drivers of motorcycles continue to exhibit a high rate of intoxication in fatal crashes, with 38.0% of involved drivers exhibiting a BAC of at least 0.10, compared to 28.9% for drivers of light trucks and vans, and 23.4% for drivers of passenger cars.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Center for Statistics and Analysis

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Klein, T M
    • BURGESS, M
  • Publication Date: 1993-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 30 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719485
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-807 999
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 26 1996 12:00AM