Although drunk driving incidences have reportedly declined by half over the last thirty years, drunk driving remains a serious problem in Maryland and in the United States. The most effective way to comprehend the nation's lingering drunk driving problem is to acknowledge some of the sobering statistics:
- In 2015, nearly one-third of all traffic related deaths in the United States involved a drunk driver in 2015.
- On average, one person in America dies every 51 minutes in a drunk driving crash.
- Approximately 800 people are injured each day in a drunk driving accident, about one person every two minutes.
- Two-thirds of people are involved in a drunk driving collision at some point in their lifetimes.
Despite their consciences and the threat of jail time, the data shows a startling number of Americans continue to drive drunk. All fifty states and Washington DC legally require drivers' blood alcohol content (BAC) to be 0.08% or less, but the sheer number of drunk drivers on the road makes enforcement difficult:
- Each year there are 111 million self-reported episodes of drunk driving, but only one percent, 1.1 million drivers, were arrested for impaired driving in 2015.
- A drunk driver has driven while intoxicated an average of 80 times before his or her first arrest.
- Over half of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive on their suspended licenses.
- About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
For teenage and young adult drivers, the statistics show that alcohol-related crashes are both more prevalent and more fatal:
- Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and approximately one-third of teen car accidents involve alcohol or substance abuse.
- One in ten high school students drinks and drives
- One in five teen drivers involved in a fatal crash has some alcohol in their system, and 81 percent of those drivers had a blood alcohol content higher than the legal limit for adults.
- Young adults, ages 26 to 29, have the highest rate of drunk driving at 20.7 percent.
In October of 2016, the Maryland General Assembly passed "Noah's Law," named after a Montgomery County police officer who was killed by a drunk driver during a traffic stop. With the passage of this legislation, enforcing stricter drunk driving penalties including usage of an ignition interlock device, Maryland's drunk driving laws are among the toughest in the United States. Still, the statistics show that Maryland's rates of injury and death in drunk driving incidences continues to hover around the national average:
- 1,716 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in Maryland from 2003-2012.
- In Maryland's 7,321 impaired driving crashes of 2013, 2,351 people were injured and 138 people were killed.
- Generally, drunk driving crashes are concentrated in metropolitan areas. In Maryland, nearly half of all impaired driving accidents occur in the Baltimore-Towson area, and one-third occur in the greater Washington area.
- At 2.1%, Maryland's percentage of adults to self-report driving after drinking too much is above the national average.
- In 2015, 3.5% of Maryland's arrested drunk drivers were below the legal drinking age.
- 19 percent of teenage respondents to a 2015 statewide survey had ridden in a car with an impaired driver sometime in the last month. 10 percent had driven a vehicle themselves within two hours of consuming alcohol.
Our law firm is based in Maryland. Most of the drunk driving accident cases we handle are in the Baltimore-Washington area, but we handle significant injury cases throughout the entire country. If you have been harmed in an accident with an drunk driver and want to consider a lawsuit or a claim for an out-of-court settlement, call one of our lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free no obligation Internet consultation.