Impaired Driving

Incidence of Impaired Driving

For one of every 160 miles driven in Idaho in 2000, a person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) >.08 sat behind the wheel. Police in Idaho reported 1,790 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 11,000 crashes in Idaho involved alcohol which killed 114 and injured an estimated 4,000 people.

Impaired Driving by Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

In 2000, Idaho drivers with:

  • BACs of .10 and above were involved in an estimated 10,400 crashes that killed 81 and injured 3,500
  • BACs between .08-.09 were involved in an estimated 200 crashes that killed 10 and injured 200
  • Positive BACs below .08 were involved in an estimated 400 crashes that killed 23 and injured 300


Alcohol is a factor in 30% of Idaho's crash costs. Alcohol-related crashes in Idaho cost the public an estimated $0.7 billion in 2000, including $0.3 billion in monetary costs and almost $0.4 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 $0.4 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill.

Costs per Alcohol-Related Injury

The average alcohol-related fatality in Idaho costs $3.2 million:

  • $1.0 million in monetary costs
  • $2.2 million in quality of life losses

The estimated cost per injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash averaged $95,000:

  • $46,000 in monetary costs
  • $49,000 in quality of life losses

Costs per Mile Driven

Crash costs in Idaho averaged:

  • $5.60 per mile driven at BACs of .10 and above
  • $2.40 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 Idaho averaged $1.20 per drink consumed. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.70 per drink.

Impact on Auto Insurance Rates

Alcohol-related crashes accounted for an estimated 16% of Idaho's auto insurance payments. Reducing alcohol-related crashes by 10% would save $10 million in claims payments and loss adjustment expenses.

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