Additional Resources

This 2008 survey presents results from the eighth in a series of national telephone surveys conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to assess current status and trends regarding the public’s attitudes, knowledge, and self-reported behavior related to drinking and driving.

  • Volume I: Summary Report (DOT HS 811 342)
    Presents key results from the survey, including the reported frequency of drinking and driving, perceptions of drinking and driving as a problem, actions taken to prevent drinking and driving, attitudes and experience with enforcement of the drinking and driving laws, and the perceived effectiveness of different intervention strategies.

  • Volume II: Findings Report (DOT HS 811 343)
    Provides an in-depth analysis of the topics presented in Volume I, in addition to other topics of interest.

  • Volume III: Methodology Report (DOT HS 811 344)
    Describes the methods used to conduct the interviews and analyze the data, and includes copies of the questionnaires.

One Out of Five Are Drinker-Drivers

Twenty percent of the public 16 and older had in the past year driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol. About two-thirds of these, or 13% of the total population 16 and older had done so in the past 30 days. The survey produced an estimate of 85.5 million past-month drinking-driving trips, up from 73.7 million trips in 2004 and reversing a declining trend in such trips since 1995. More than three-fourths (78%) of the trips were made by males.

Those who reported driving within two hours of drinking in the past year tended to be more frequent drinkers than did other drivers who drink but do not drive afterwards. More than one in four (28%) drinking drivers usually consumed alcoholic beverages 3 or more days a week, compared to 10% of drivers who drink but do not drink and drive. While few 16- to 20-year-olds reported drinking and driving, those that did averaged 5.7 drinks per sitting during the times they drink alcohol (inclusive of all drinking occasions, not just drinking and driving). For 21- to 24-year-old drinking drivers, their average alcohol intake was 4.2 drinks per sitting. The average number of drinks dropped sharply again for 25- to 34-year-old drinking drivers (3.0), then declined more slowly across ensuing age groups.