NHTSA: more drivers are highly intoxicated before getting behind wheel

By WEEK Producer

NHTSA: more drivers are highly intoxicated before getting behind wheel

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Alarming statistics are out Tuesday on drinking and driving in America.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 70 percent of deaths and crashes involving drunken drivers in 2010 had a driver with blood alcohol content twice the legal limit or more.

That's 0.15 or higher.

David Strickland, NHTSA Administrator says drivers' wanting to operate a vehicle after drinking isn't the only bad decision being made.

"People are not only making poor decisions about drinking and driving, they are getting deeply intoxicated before getting behind the wheel," said Strickland.

The NHTSA statistics also show that alcohol-impaired crashes account for nearly one in three deaths on American roadways each year.

That's the equivalent of one death every 51 minutes.

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