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Motorists who drink and drive pose a serious threat to people across the nation, but those traveling Alabama’s roadways face an especially high risk of dying in an alcohol-involved car wreck. Research shows that Alabama sees more drunk driving deaths annually than most other states, shining a spotlight on just how common driving under the influence has become statewide. 

Per The News Courier, Alabama ranked fifth in the nation in terms of the number of people who lost their lives due to drunk drivers in 2017, trailing only behind Wyoming, South Carolina, North Dakota and New Mexico. That year, 268 people died in drunk driving-related car crashes in Alabama, which means that there were nearly five fatalities for every 100,000 people living within state lines. 

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study revealed some additional information regarding Alabama’s drunk driving problem. About a third of all automotive fatalities that occurred in Alabama in 2017 involved motorists who had blood-alcohol concentrations of .01 grams per deciliter, which is below the legal limit. This suggests, however, that even a small amount of alcohol has the capacity to increase the odds of a fatal car wreck. 

On the national level, however, drivers with particularly high blood-alcohol concentrations of .15% or higher played a role in about 68% of all drunk driving fatalities. The majority of the time, drivers who had blood-alcohol readings of .15% or higher had blood-alcohol concentrations that were about twice the legal limit. In some instances, however, motorists involved in fatal wrecks had blood-alcohol levels that were more than five times the legal limit. Find more about car wrecks on our webpage.