June 7, 2024

Overview of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Statistics in 2022

Overview of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Statistics in 2022

Alcohol-impaired driving remains a critical issue in the United States, impacting thousands of lives each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2022 alone, there were 13,524 fatalities due to alcohol-impaired driving incidents. This figure represents a staggering 32% of all traffic fatalities across the country for the year.

Drivers are considered alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches or exceeds 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL). Any fatal crash involving a driver with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher is classified as an alcohol-impaired driving crash. These statistics highlight the severe risk posed by impaired driving and underscore the need for awareness and preventative measures.

A deeper dive into the data reveals a slight but noteworthy decrease in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities from the previous year, dropping by 0.7% from 13,617 in 2021 to 13,524 in 2022. Despite this small improvement, the fact remains that on average, one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurred every 39 minutes in 2022.

The impact of alcohol-impaired driving extends beyond just numbers. Each fatality represents a life lost and a family forever changed. For the personal injury attorneys at Johnson, Law P.C., these statistics serve as a call to action to support victims and their families, helping them navigate the aftermath of such devastating events.

Victims of alcohol-impaired driving accidents often face significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges. An experienced car accident lawyer can provide essential support, from securing compensation for medical expenses and lost wages to holding the responsible parties accountable. The expertise and dedication of Johnson, Law P.C. ensure that victims receive the justice they deserve while working towards a safer future for all road users.

Detailed Breakdown of the Data

Understanding the demographics and distribution of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities can provide valuable insights into where preventive efforts and resources should be focused. In 2022, several key trends emerged from the data:

Age Groups: The age group most affected by alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2022 was the 21-24-year-olds. This group accounted for 29% of all alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes. The high prevalence in this age group highlights the importance of targeted educational campaigns and preventive measures for young adults, who are statistically at greater risk.

Gender Disparity: A significant gender disparity exists in alcohol-impaired driving incidents. In 2022, almost four male drivers were involved in alcohol-impaired fatal crashes for every female driver. Specifically, there were 9,914 male alcohol-impaired drivers compared to 2,562 female drivers. This stark difference suggests a need for gender-specific interventions and awareness programs.

Impact on Road Users: The impact of alcohol-impaired driving extends beyond the drivers themselves. In 2022, the fatalities were distributed among various road users as follows:

  • Alcohol-Impaired Drivers: 8,012 fatalities (59%)
  • Passengers Riding with Alcohol-Impaired Drivers: 1,684 fatalities (12%)
  • Occupants of Other Vehicles: 2,193 fatalities (16%)
  • Nonoccupants (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.): 1,635 fatalities (12%)

These statistics reveal that passengers and other road users are also significantly affected by alcohol-impaired driving, underscoring the broad reach of its impact.

Children: Tragically, children are also victims of alcohol-impaired driving crashes. In 2022, 1,129 children aged 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, with 25% of these fatalities occurring in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Among these, 150 were passengers in vehicles with alcohol-impaired drivers, 89 were occupants of other vehicles, and 41 were nonoccupants.

For Johnson, Law P.C., these statistics are more than just numbers; they represent real individuals and families who have suffered due to the reckless actions of impaired drivers. The law firm is dedicated to supporting these victims, helping them navigate the complex legal landscape to secure the compensation and justice they deserve. Whether it’s through negotiating settlements or representing clients in court, Johnson, Law P.C. stands as a pillar of support for those impacted by alcohol-impaired driving.

Impact on Different Road Users

Alcohol-impaired driving affects a wide range of individuals on the road, not just the impaired drivers themselves. Understanding who is impacted can help in developing targeted safety measures and support systems.

Drivers and Passengers: In 2022, the majority of fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes were the drivers themselves, with 8,012 alcohol-impaired drivers killed. However, passengers riding with these drivers also faced significant risk, with 1,684 fatalities. This means that 71% of all fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes involved either the impaired driver or their passengers.

Occupants of Other Vehicles: A substantial number of fatalities also occurred among occupants of other vehicles. In 2022, 2,193 people who were not in the impaired driver’s vehicle were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. This statistic highlights the danger posed to innocent bystanders and other road users, who can become victims of another driver’s impaired judgment.

Nonoccupants: Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users not in vehicles, accounted for 1,635 fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2022. These individuals are particularly vulnerable as they lack the protective structure that vehicle occupants have, making the impact of collisions often more severe.

Children: Children are tragically affected by alcohol-impaired driving crashes. In 2022, 1,129 children aged 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 25% of these deaths were related to alcohol-impaired driving. Among these child fatalities:

  • Passengers in Vehicles with Alcohol-Impaired Drivers: 150 (53%)
  • Occupants of Other Vehicles: 89 (31%)
  • Nonoccupants (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.): 41 (14%)
  • Child Drivers: 3 (1%)

These statistics are sobering reminders of the far-reaching impact of alcohol-impaired driving. For the legal team at Johnson, Law P.C., these figures underscore the importance of their work in advocating for victims. They are committed to providing comprehensive legal support to those affected, helping families seek justice and compensation for their losses.

The firm’s experience in handling such sensitive and complex cases ensures that victims receive the support they need to rebuild their lives. By understanding the varied impact of these tragic incidents, Johnson, Law P.C. is better equipped to represent their clients and fight for the justice they deserve.

Economic Impact of Alcohol-Impaired Crashes

The economic consequences of alcohol-impaired driving are substantial, affecting not only the individuals involved but also the broader society. In 2019, the most recent year for which cost data is available, the estimated economic cost of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States was $340 billion. Of this, $58 billion resulted specifically from alcohol-impaired crashes. These costs encompass a wide range of factors, including:

  • Lost Productivity: When individuals are injured or killed in crashes, it results in a significant loss of productivity due to missed work, long-term disability, or death.
  • Workplace Costs: Employers bear costs related to the absence or loss of employees, including hiring and training replacements.
  • Legal and Court Costs: Legal proceedings and court cases following accidents contribute significantly to the overall economic burden.
  • Medical Costs: Immediate and long-term medical care for those injured in crashes is a major expense.
  • Emergency Medical Services: The costs of providing emergency medical services at the scene of accidents add to the economic toll.
  • Insurance Administration Costs: Processing claims and managing insurance payouts are additional economic burdens.
  • Congestion Impacts: Traffic crashes can cause significant congestion, leading to delays and increased fuel consumption.
  • Property Damage: Damage to vehicles and other property requires costly repairs and replacements.

While these figures represent tangible economic costs, they fail to capture the full extent of the impact. When considering the quality-of-life valuations, which take into account the pain, suffering, and loss of life, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2019 was an estimated $1.37 trillion. Alcohol-impaired crashes accounted for $296 billion of this total.

For the team at Johnson, Law P.C., understanding these economic impacts is crucial in advocating for their clients. Victims of alcohol-impaired driving crashes often face not only immediate medical bills but also long-term financial challenges, including lost income and ongoing medical care. The firm works diligently to ensure that victims receive fair compensation for these economic losses, helping them to rebuild their lives after such devastating events.

Johnson, Law P.C. is committed to providing comprehensive legal support, guiding victims through the complex process of claiming compensation and ensuring that those responsible for alcohol-impaired driving are held accountable. By highlighting the economic impact of these crashes, the firm aims to raise awareness and support efforts to reduce the incidence of alcohol-impaired driving, ultimately contributing to a safer community for all.

Characteristics of Alcohol-Impaired Crashes

Alcohol-impaired driving crashes exhibit certain patterns and characteristics that can help in understanding and addressing this pervasive issue. The following analysis of 2022 data highlights some key characteristics:

Time and Place:

  • Time of Day: The rate of alcohol-impaired driving crashes was nearly three times higher at night than during the day. Specifically, 32% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes at night were alcohol-impaired, compared to 11% during the day. This suggests a higher risk during late hours, necessitating increased vigilance and preventive measures during these times.
  • Day of Week: Alcohol-impaired driving incidents were more common on weekends. About 29% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes on weekends were alcohol-impaired, compared to 17% on weekdays.
  • Month: Certain months saw higher incidences of alcohol-impaired crashes, with July (10%) and August (9%) recording the highest percentages. February had the lowest percentage (7%).

Weather and Light Conditions:

  • Weather: The majority of alcohol-impaired driving crashes (92%) occurred under clear or cloudy conditions, while only 6% happened during rainy weather. This indicates that adverse weather is not a significant deterrent for impaired driving.
  • Light Conditions: Most crashes occurred in the dark (69%), followed by daylight (27%), dusk (3%), and dawn (1%). This again underscores the heightened risk during nighttime.

Location and Road Type:

  • Urban vs. Rural: In 2022, 62% of alcohol-impaired driving crashes occurred in urban areas, while 38% took place in rural areas. Urban areas may have a higher frequency of such incidents due to greater population density and higher traffic volumes.
  • Road Type: The majority of alcohol-impaired driving crashes (87%) occurred on non-interstate roads, with only 13% happening on interstate highways. This could be due to the higher presence of local traffic and residential areas on non-interstate roads.

For the team at Johnson, Law P.C., understanding these characteristics is crucial in providing effective legal representation. Recognizing the patterns can help in building stronger cases for victims, highlighting the negligence and risk factors associated with the accused drivers.

By focusing on these crash characteristics, Johnson, Law P.C. can better advocate for their clients, ensuring they receive the compensation and justice they deserve. The firm is dedicated to using this data to inform its strategies and support efforts to reduce alcohol-impaired driving incidents, ultimately making the roads safer for everyone.

Understanding Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities in 2022

State-by-State Analysis with Focus on Oregon

Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities vary significantly across different states, reflecting variations in enforcement, public awareness, and local driving conditions. In this section, we will focus on the statistics specific to Oregon and its neighboring states to provide a regional perspective.

Oregon Statistics: In 2022, Oregon reported a total of 601 traffic fatalities. Of these, 232 (39%) were related to alcohol-impaired driving incidents. This places Oregon slightly above the national average, where 32% of traffic fatalities involve alcohol-impaired drivers. Within these incidents, the majority of fatalities involved drivers with very high BAC levels, indicating severe impairment.

Comparative Analysis with Neighboring States:

  • Washington: Washington reported 733 total traffic fatalities, with 256 (35%) involving alcohol-impaired drivers. This is slightly lower than Oregon but still represents a significant portion of traffic deaths.
  • California: California had the highest number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the region, with 1,479 out of 4,428 total traffic fatalities (33%). This high number reflects California's larger population and higher traffic volumes.
  • Idaho: Idaho reported 215 total traffic fatalities, with 69 (32%) involving alcohol-impaired drivers. This aligns closely with the national average.
  • Nevada: Nevada reported 416 traffic fatalities, with 140 (34%) involving alcohol-impaired drivers, again showing a significant impact of impaired driving on road safety.

Enforcement and Legal Implications: Oregon, like many states, has stringent laws against driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal BAC limit is set at 0.08 g/dL, with severe penalties for offenders, including fines, license suspensions, and potential imprisonment. Additionally, Oregon has implemented sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols during high-risk periods, such as holidays and weekends, to deter impaired driving.

Role of Johnson, Law P.C.: For residents of Hillsboro, Oregon, and surrounding areas, Johnson, Law P.C. stands as a dedicated advocate for victims of alcohol-impaired driving accidents. The firm provides comprehensive legal support, ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. Johnson, Law P.C. works tirelessly to hold negligent drivers accountable and to support their clients through every step of the legal process.

By focusing on local and regional statistics, Johnson, Law P.C. can better understand the specific challenges and risks faced by their clients. This localized knowledge allows the firm to offer tailored legal strategies, increasing the effectiveness of our advocacy and support for victims.

Common Evidence in Alcohol-Impaired Driving Cases

In cases of alcohol-impaired driving accidents, gathering and presenting evidence is crucial for establishing fault and securing justice for victims. The team at Johnson, Law P.C. utilizes various types of evidence to build strong cases for their clients. Here are some of the most common forms of evidence used in these cases:

1. Police Reports: Police reports are often the primary source of evidence in alcohol-impaired driving cases. These reports typically include:

  • Details of the Accident: Information on the time, location, and circumstances of the crash.
  • Officer Observations: Notes on the behavior and condition of the driver, including signs of impairment.
  • Field Sobriety Test Results: Results of any field sobriety tests conducted at the scene.
  • Chemical Test Results: BAC levels from breathalyzer or blood tests.

2. Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses can provide crucial accounts of the events leading up to, during, and after the crash. Witness statements can corroborate other evidence and offer perspectives on the driver's behavior and the conditions at the time of the accident.

3. Surveillance Footage: Video evidence from traffic cameras, nearby businesses, or bystanders can capture the events as they unfold. Surveillance footage is invaluable in providing an objective view of the incident, often showing the driver's actions and the impact of the crash.

4. Bar Receipts and Records: If the driver was at a bar or restaurant before the accident, receipts and records can indicate the amount of alcohol consumed. This evidence can help establish the level of impairment and link it to the time of the crash.

5. Cellphone Records: Cellphone records can provide insights into the driver's activities leading up to the crash. Text messages, call logs, and app usage can indicate whether the driver was distracted or impaired. Additionally, GPS data can show the driver’s location and movements.

6. Expert Testimony: Although not mentioned earlier, expert testimony is often crucial in these cases. Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the crash scene, vehicle damage, and other factors to determine how the accident occurred. Medical experts can testify about the injuries sustained and the impact on the victim’s life.

Hypothetical Case Example: Consider a scenario where a driver, after spending the evening at a bar, crashes into another vehicle at an intersection. The police report indicates a high BAC level, and witnesses confirm erratic driving. Surveillance footage from the bar shows the driver consuming multiple drinks, while cellphone records reveal a text sent just moments before the crash. Together, this evidence forms a compelling case that the driver was impaired and caused the accident.

At Johnson, Law P.C., compiling such comprehensive evidence is a fundamental part of our approach. We understand that thorough evidence collection can make all the difference in securing the rightful compensation for our clients. The firm is dedicated to leveraging all available resources to build the strongest possible case, ensuring that victims of alcohol-impaired driving accidents receive the justice they deserve.

Important Safety Reminders

Preventing alcohol-impaired driving is crucial to reducing the number of fatalities and injuries on the roads. While legal measures and law enforcement play a significant role, individuals and communities also have a responsibility to promote safe driving practices. Here are some important safety reminders:

Preventive Measures:

  • Plan Ahead: If you plan to drink, make arrangements for a safe way home before you start. This could involve designating a sober driver, booking a taxi, or using a ride-hailing service.
  • Use Public Transportation: When available, public transportation is a reliable and safe alternative to driving after drinking.
  • Stay Over: If you’re at a friend’s house or an event, consider staying overnight rather than driving home impaired.

Community Role:

  • Host Responsibility: If you’re hosting a party where alcohol is served, ensure your guests have a safe way to get home. Encourage the use of designated drivers and provide non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Intervene When Necessary: Don’t hesitate to take the keys away from someone who is about to drive after drinking. Offer to call a cab or arrange a ride for them.


  • Always Wear Your Seat Belt: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself in the event of a crash.
  • Be Alert: If you see an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and report them to local law enforcement. Your actions could help prevent an accident and save lives.

For Johnson, Law P.C., promoting these safety measures is part of our commitment to reducing alcohol-impaired driving incidents. We encourage everyone to take these reminders seriously and to act responsibly to protect themselves and others on the road.

The Role of Johnson, Law P.C.: Our team at Johnson, Law P.C. is dedicated to supporting victims of alcohol-impaired driving accidents. We provide comprehensive legal assistance, ensuring that victims receive the compensation they need for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. Our goal is to hold negligent drivers accountable and to support our clients through every step of the legal process.

We understand the devastating impact that these accidents can have on individuals and families. Our compassionate and experienced approach ensures that victims receive the justice they deserve. By raising awareness and advocating for responsible driving, we strive to make our communities safer for everyone.

In Summary

The alarming statistics on alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2022 serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing need for awareness and action. With 13,524 lives lost due to impaired driving, this issue remains a critical public safety concern. Each of these fatalities represents a person whose life was tragically cut short, leaving behind grieving families and communities.

At Johnson, Law P.C., we are committed to supporting the victims of these senseless accidents. Our team provides comprehensive legal assistance to ensure that victims and their families receive the compensation and justice they deserve. We work diligently to hold negligent drivers accountable, striving to reduce the incidence of alcohol-impaired driving through legal advocacy and public education.

By understanding the detailed breakdown of the data, the economic impact, the characteristics of these crashes, and the regional statistics, we can better address the challenges and risks associated with alcohol-impaired driving. Through careful collection and presentation of evidence, we build strong cases for our clients, helping them navigate the complex legal landscape.

Act! We encourage everyone to take proactive steps to prevent alcohol-impaired driving:

  • Plan ahead if you intend to drink.
  • Use public transportation or ride-hailing services.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Intervene if you see someone attempting to drive while impaired.

By working together, we can help reduce the number of alcohol-impaired driving incidents and make our roads safer for everyone. If you or a loved one has been affected by an alcohol-impaired driving accident, contact Johnson, Law P.C. today for compassionate and experienced legal support.


National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2024, May). Alcohol-impaired driving: 2022 data (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 813 578). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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