National Report Estimates One Quarter of Motorists Driving Under the Influence

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in Washington, D.C. released a new nationwide report that estimates the number of drivers considered driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. The percentages of all motorists driving drunk ranged from a low of 9.5% in Utah to a high of 26.4% in Wisconsin. Several other states in the upper Midwest ranked high on the list, including North Dakota at 24.9 percent and Minnesota at 23.5 percent.

On average 15.1 percent of U.S. drivers 18 or older drove while legally intoxicated at least once in the past year. The 2008 data release is the first time a projection of drunk driving in the nation has been compiled.

The report was based on state level information on DUI and DWI incidents and pervasiveness, as well as data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. The combined number of drivers surveyed over a three year period totaled 127,283.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were about 16,700 traffic related deaths in 2004 involving a driver under the influence of alcohol.

The SAMHSA report also revealed that about 5% of adult drivers drove under the influence of illicit drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin and prescription drugs used nonmedically.

SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline hopes the report highlights the scope and nature of national issue of driving under the influence, and helps direct resources and prevention efforts. The full report is available at .

State Estimates of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs in the Past Year among Current Drivers Aged 18 or Older: Average of 2004-2006


  State
Estimates of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Illicit
Drugs in the Past Year among Current Drivers Aged 18 or Older: Average
of 2004-2006


Driving Under Influence of Alcohol


Driving Under Influence of Illicit Drugs


State


Percent

SE (%)*


State


Percent

SE (%)*

Wisconsin

26.4

1.52

District
of Columbia

7.0

0.88

North
Dakota

24.9

1.35

Rhode
Island

6.8

0.79

Minnesota

23.5

1.35


Massachusetts

6.4

0.70

Nebraska

22.9

1.29

Montana

6.3

0.61

South
Dakota

21.6

1.25

Wyoming

6.2

0.67

Kansas

21.1

1.45

Alaska

5.9

0.62


Massachusetts

20.5

1.27

Colorado

5.8

0.78

Rhode
Island

20.4

1.44

Minnesota

5.7

0.74

Montana

20.3

1.32

Michigan

5.7

0.33

District
of Columbia

19.1

1.14

Vermont

5.6

0.63

Michigan

18.4

0.63

Nevada

5.6

0.71

Wyoming

18.3

1.26

Tennessee

5.6

0.63

Missouri

18.0

1.03

New
Mexico

5.5

0.75

Iowa

17.6

1.23

Hawaii

5.5

0.80

Hawaii

17.4

1.30

New
Hampshire

5.4

0.61


Connecticut

17.2

1.44

Arkansas

5.4

0.61

Colorado

17.0

1.26


California

5.3

0.33

New
Hampshire

16.7

1.14

Wisconsin

5.3

0.60

Illinois

16.5

0.59


Connecticut

5.2

0.67

Vermont

16.4

1.20

Missouri

5.1

0.64

Louisiana

16.0

0.96

Maine

5.0

0.67

Nevada

15.9

1.33


Washington

5.0

0.58

Oregon

15.9

1.07

Delaware

4.8

0.60

Texas

15.7

0.63

Ohio

4.8

0.28

Ohio

15.7

0.61


Pennsylvania

4.7

0.33

Indiana

15.2

1.33

Virginia

4.7

0.66

Arizona

14.9

1.15

Utah

4.7

0.54


Pennsylvania

14.8

0.54

Florida

4.7

0.30

South
Carolina

14.7

1.17

Oklahoma

4.7

0.63

Maryland

14.7

1.10

Louisiana

4.7

0.53


Washington

13.8

1.26

Kansas

4.6

0.54


California

13.8

0.59

Indiana

4.5

0.52

Delaware

13.7

0.99

Georgia

4.5

0.66

Oklahoma

13.7

1.15

South
Carolina

4.5

0.54

Alaska

13.7

1.13


Mississippi

4.4

0.59

Idaho

13.6

0.99

North
Carolina

4.4

0.54

Virginia

13.6

1.15

Oregon

4.3

0.55

New
Mexico

13.5

1.13

Illinois

4.3

0.26

Georgia

13.5

1.32

West
Virginia

4.2

0.57

Florida

13.5

0.58

New York

4.1

0.29

New York

13.0

0.60

Idaho

4.1

0.57

Maine

12.4

0.98

Texas

4.1

0.25

Tennessee

12.4

1.12

Nebraska

3.9

0.48


Mississippi

11.9

1.05

Iowa

3.9

0.48

Alabama

11.4

0.97

Maryland

3.7

0.49

New
Jersey

11.3

1.12

Arizona

3.7

0.49

Arkansas

10.8

0.92

Kentucky

3.6

0.51

Kentucky

10.4

1.07

North
Dakota

3.5

0.40

North
Carolina

10.4

1.04

South
Dakota

3.5

0.39

West
Virginia

10.1

0.96

Alabama

3.4

0.43

Utah

9.5

1.00

New
Jersey

3.2

0.54

* The standard error (SE) is a measure of these sampling variability of an estimate, where smaller values represent greater precision and larger values represent less precision.

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004-2006


SAMHSA is a public health agency within the
Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible
for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the
nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and
mental health services delivery system.


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