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Counting just those with a BAC = 0.08 g/dl or more (Legally drunk) :
15,121 in 2006; 35.5% of all motor vehicle fatalities.

Distracted driving (cell phone, kids, etc..) is a problem, but the #1 cause of death on the highway is drunk drivers; speeding is second.

addendum, for those who think alcohol is not a problem:
35% of fatal accidents involve legally drunk drivers. Either 35% of all drivers are legally drunk, or alcohol is a problem. I would be rather surprised if more than 1% of all drivers are running around legally intoxicated.

Best Answer :


Hi Chris,
I think a more realistic question might be "how many people are kill by cars every year". Drunk drivers are only part of the problem. Accidents are also caused by people driving while eating, talking to their passengers, falling asleep, talking on the cell phone, playing with their sound system, speeding, and in general just driving carelessly.
World Health Organization estimates that in the United States, 42,700 people are killed from car accidents. I hope this helps.

Other Answer(2) :


Hard to say..how do you know who is drunk…Blood Alcohol Content is a good indicator for someone who is obviously drunk. But for someone who is "legally" drunk, which is .08 or .10 depending on jurisdiction, they may not actually be drunk. It depends on the individual and their tolerance level. Why did they change it from .08 to .10? Because it was an arbitrary figure to begin with. Now with the lower level states can get more convictions and make more money but it hasn't solved the problem. Some people are drunk after 1 or 2 drinks. They are not "legally" drunk but they cannot function and should not drive. Other people can have several drinks and they are fine although they may be "legally" drunk. Some people just can't drive well enough to be allowed on the road even when sober. If you are "legally" drunk you bear the burden even if the accident was caused by the other driver who may not have been paying attention and may have cause the accident. Cell phones and texting are far more dangerous than moderate drinking by responsible individuals. Because talking on the cell phone is not illegal in most instances prosecutors don't even bother checking phone records to verify if someone was on the phone at the time of an accident. They automatically go after the individual who is "legally" drunk because it is an easy conviction.


Too many.

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