Overview of NHTSA Data on Fatal Alcohol-related Crashes Spotlights Connecticut and Texas

February 23, 2024

A new analysis using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on fatal crashes in states where drivers are most likely to be over the legal alcohol limit shows Connecticut and Texas with the highest percentages of drivers exceeding the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit.

The study also showed that drivers with a BAC of 0.15+ g/dL, nearly double the legal limit, represented a significant portion of those involved in fatal accidents across the top five states.

The study was conducted by personal injury attorneys Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers using NHTSA data covering the years 2017 to 2021. It aimed to identify trends in alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes, focusing on those with BAC levels of .08 g/dL or higher and those nearly doubling this limit at .15 g/dL.

Connecticut and Texas had the highest percentage of drivers over the legal alcohol limit in fatal crashes, with more than 40% of drivers exhibiting BAC levels of 0.08 g/dL or higher.

Texas topped the ranking with more than four out of every 10 drivers in a fatal crash having a BAC of more than 0.08 g/dL, which is the legal limit in the US. Over the five-year period that was measured, 11,185 of 27,392 (40.83%) drivers involved in fatal accidents were over the limit, while 7,682 (28.04%) surpassed 0.15 g/dL, nearly double the limit and a point where motor function, speech, and judgement are all severely affected, along with severe impairment of driving skills.

In Connecticut, out of 1,983 drivers involved in fatal crashes, 40.8% had a BAC of more than 0.08 g/dL, which is the legal limit in the US. In addition, it had the highest rate of drivers in fatal crashes recording BAC levels of 0.15+ g/dL, with 28.19% of them in this category.

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