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Alcohol-Impaired Driving Deaths is the percentage of motor vehicle crash deaths with alcohol involvement.
Approximately 17,000 Americans are killed annually in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. Binge/heavy drinkers account for most episodes of alcohol-impaired driving.[1,2]
An important strength of this measure is that alcohol-impaired driving deaths directly measures the relationship between alcohol and motor vehicle crash deaths. One limitation of this measure is that not all fatal motor vehicle traffic accidents have a valid blood alcohol test, so these data are likely an undercount of actual alcohol involvement. Another potential limitation is that even though alcohol is involved in all cases of alcohol-impaired driving, there can be a large difference in the degree to which it was responsible for the crash (e.g. someone with a 0.01 BAC vs. 0.35 BAC).
FARS is a census of fatal motor vehicle crashes with a set of data files documenting all qualifying fatalities that occurred within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico since 1975. To qualify as a FARS case, the crash had to involve a motor vehicle traveling on a trafficway customarily open to the public, and must have resulted in the death of a motorist or a non-motorist within 30 days of the crash.
It is possible to download a set of data files from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and produce estimates of smaller locations, or estimates by age, race or gender. However, using this data requires somewhat advanced analytic capabilities. We suggest contacting your local law enforcement agency, as they are likely to have access to this data, and would be important partners in any efforts in this area.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sociodemographic differences in binge drinking among adults-14 states, 2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58:301-304. Flowers NT, Naimi TS, Brewer RD, Elder RW, Shults RA, Jiles R. Patterns of alcohol consumption and alcohol-impaired driving in the United States. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008;32:639-644.
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