Download and share our 2007 report, Stopping Hardcore Drunk Driving: Offenders' Perspective on Deterrence.


Hardcore drunk drivers are those who drive with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or above or who do so repeatedly, as demonstrated by having more than one impaired driving arrest, and who are highly resistant to changing their behavior despite previous sanctions, treatment or education. 

In 2011, 70% of drivers involved in drunk driving fatalities had a a BAC level of .15 or higher – a trend that has remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade. (Source: NHTSA/FARS, 2013) 

Three percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2011 had a prior DWI conviction within the past three years.  Among these drivers with a prior DWI conviction 42% were involved in a fatal crash and had a BAC level of 0.15 or higher at the time of the crash. (Source: NHTSA/FARS, 2013)

The median BAC level remains of drivers in fatal crashes twice the legal limit at 0.16, and drivers with a BAC level of .15 or higher in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired than non-drinking drivers.  (Source: NHTSA, FARS and Traffic Safety Facts "Alcohol-Impaired Driving," 2013) 

Compared with drivers who have not consumed alcohol, drivers with BACs of .15 or above are 380 times more likely to be involved in a single-vehicle fatal crash than a non-drinking driver. (Source: Zador, P.L. Alcohol related relative risk of fatal driver injuries in relation to driver age and sex. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 52(4):302-310, 1991.)