Impaired Driving

Incidence of Impaired Driving

For one of every 80 miles driven in New Hampshire in 2000, a person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) >.08 sat behind the wheel. Police in New Hampshire reported 1,480 crashes involving a driver or pedestrian with a BAC of .01 or more. Formulas developed by NHTSA were used to estimate the number of alcohol-related crashes where alcohol involvement was not reported by the police. An estimated total of 7,120 crashes in New Hampshire involved alcohol which killed 49 and injured an estimated 1,460 people.

Impaired Driving by Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

In 2000, New Hampshire drivers with:

  • BACs of .10 and above were involved in an estimated 6,800 crashes that killed 40 and injured 1,300
  • BACs between .08–.09 were involved in an estimated 120 crashes that killed 3 and injured 60
  • Positive BACs below .08 were involved in an estimated 200 crashes that killed 6 and injured 100


Alcohol is a factor in 21% of New Hampshire’s crash costs. Alcohol-related crashes in New Hampshire cost the public an estimated $0.4 billion in 2000, including $0.2 billion in monetary costs and almost $0.2 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 $0.2 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill.

Costs per Alcohol-Related Injury

The average alcohol-related fatality in New Hampshire costs $3.9 million:

  • $1.3 million in monetary costs
  • $2.6 million in quality of life losses

The estimated cost per injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash averaged $111,000:

  • $55,000 in monetary costs
  • $56,000 in quality of life losses

Costs per Mile Driven

Crash costs in New Hampshire averaged:

  • $4.20 per mile driven at BACs of .10 and above
  • $1.80 per mile driven at BACs between .08–.09
  • $0.10 per mile driven at BACs of .00

Costs per Drink

The societal costs of alcohol-related crashes in New Hampshire averaged $0.30 per drink consumed. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.20 per drink.

Impact on Auto Insurance Rates

Alcohol-related crashes accounted for an estimated 17% of New Hampshire’s auto insurance payments. Reducing alcohol-related crashes by 10% would save $9 million in claims payments and loss adjustment expenses.

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