Thirty-nine percent (39%) of all traffic fatalities in 2005 were alcohol related -- meaning either the driver of the crash vehicle or nonoccupant (e.g., a pedestrian or a bicyclist) had a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.01 gram per deciliter (g/dL). The 16,885 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2005 represent a 5% reduction from the 17,732 alcohol-related fatalities in 1995. The U.S. is making progress toward reducing alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
On average one alcohol-related fatality occurs every 31 minutes. Of the 16,885 people who died in alcohol-related crashes in 2005, 14,539 (86%) were killed in crashes where at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher. An estimated 254,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present In 2004, an estimated 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States.