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Characteristics of fatally injured drivers with high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs)

McCartt, Anne T.; Williams, Allan F.
Proceedings of the17th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety (CD-ROM)

Blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers in the Unite States were used to examine the current and historical distributions of BACs and the characteristics of fatally injured drivers by BAC categories, including those with very high BACs. All categories of illegal BACs (0.08% or higher) declined substantially from 1982 to 2002, and declines were similar across BAC categories. Among illegally impaired drivers, the prevalence of several driver and crash characteristics increased systematically, but gradually, with increasing BACs. This study does not support the claim that "hard core drinking drivers" have become a larger part of the problem and have been unaffected by general deterrent approaches.