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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

The Facts about DUI

The National Perspective1

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that alcohol was involved in 31% of fatal crashes in 2014.
  • The 9,967 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2014 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 53 minutes.
  • The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in 2014 fatal crashes was nearly four times higher at night than during the day (34% versus 9%).
  • In 2014, 16 percent of all fatal crashes during the week were alcohol-related, compared to 29% on weekends.
  • In fatal crashes in 2014, drivers with the highest percentage of a BAC level of .08 or higher were 21 to 24 years of age (30%), followed by 25 to 34 years old (29%) and 35-44 years old (24%).
  • In 2014, the percentage of drivers with BAC of .08 or above in fatal crashes was highest for motorcyclists (29%).
  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had created law thresholds making it illegal per se to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Of the 9,967 people who died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2014, 6,391 (64%) were drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • Drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher in fatal crashes in 2014 were seven times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired than were drivers with no alcohol.

The South Carolina Perspective:

  • In 2015, preliminary data shows 300 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.1
  • From 2011-2015, premilinary data shows approximately 29,300 people were involved in DUI-related collisions.
  • Nearly 49 percent of single vehicle fatal crashes involved an impaired driver in 2013.2
  • In 2013, the rate of DUI involvement in collisions was about nine times higher at night (9PM—3AM) than during the day (6AM-6PM) (18.1% vs. 1.9%).

  • Males account for about 68 percent of the drivers in DUI collisions. 3


1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

2 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FARS Data Tables.

3State Traffic Collision Master File, 2013 preliminary data.