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Drunk driving fatalities have declined significantly overall and among persons under 21 since NHTSA began recording alcohol-impaired driving statistics in 1982 (51% and 78%, respectively).  However, for every 100,000 people in the nation, there are approximately three drunk driving fatalities. 

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) annual summary on the State of Drunk Driving Fatalities in America for 2012 highlights national trends and state data, while FAAR’s state profile pages focus on state specific statistics, including alcohol-related arrest and underage drinking figures.  The annual report includes graphs that summarize the latest available statistics in the U.S., and underscores the problems associated with hardcore drunk drivers.  

In 2012, for the first time in seven years, drunk driving fatalities increased nearly five percent from 9,865 fatalities in 2011 to 10,322.  At the same time, among persons under the age of 21 drunk driving fatalities continued to decline, decreasing almost five percent from 1,234 in 2011 to 1,174 in 2012.  Nearly three out of four drunk driving fatalities (73 percent), where there is a known alcohol-test result for the driver, involved a high BAC driver (.15+) – a trend that has remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade. 

Many of the statistics highlighted in the annual report are positive indicators of the progress being made to reduce and ultimately eliminate drunk driving but there remains work to be done.  FAAR remains committed to bringing individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations about alcohol responsibility and lead the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking.