Impaired Driving in Alabama

Incidence of Impaired Driving

For one of every 230 miles driven in Alabama in 1997, a legally intoxicated person (BAC $.08) sat behind the wheel. Alabama police report 8,873 crashes involving a driver or pedestrian with a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Formulas developed by NHTSA were used to estimate the number of alcohol-related crashes where alcohol involvement is not reported by the police. An estimated total of 20,300 crashes in Alabama involved alcohol. These crashes killed 473 and injured an estimated 8,400 people.

Impaired Driving by Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

In 1997, Alabama drivers with:


Alcohol is a factor in 30% of Alabama crash costs. Alcohol-related crashes in Alabama cost the public more than $2.0 billion in 1997, including nearly $0.8 billion in monetary costs and over $1.2 billion in quality of life losses. (For definitions of the cost categories, see the definitions fact sheet.) Alcohol-related crashes are deadlier and more serious than other crashes. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.8 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill.

Costs Per Alcohol-Related Injury

The average alcohol-related fatality in Alabama cost $3.1 million:

The estimated cost per injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash averaged $76,000:

Costs Per Mile Driven

Crash costs in Alabama averaged:

Costs Per Drink

The societal costs of alcohol-related crashes in Alabama averaged $1.00 per drink consumed. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.50 per drink.

Impact on Auto Insurance Rates

Alcohol-related crashes accounted for an estimated 13% of Alabama’s auto insurance payments. Reducing alcohol-related crashes by 10% would save $40 million in claims payments and loss adjustment expenses.

Prevention Savings

Alabama already has many important impaired driving laws. However, a number of additional strategies can be used to mitigate the harm from impaired driving.




Public Services Research Institute
8201 Corporate Drive, Suite 220
Landover, MD 20785
(301) 731-9891




The estimates reported here were produced under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Partners in Progress Cooperative Agreement No. DTNH22-97-H-55072.