2.4.a: Decrease number of alcohol and/or drug related fatalities from 199 in 2011 to 152 in 2017

Data Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from the WA Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC).

Impaired drivers can be influenced by alcohol and/or drugs.

Alcohol only impaired driver-involved means any driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher and no drugs as confirmed by the state Toxicology Laboratory.

Drug only impaired driver-involved means any driver with a positive drug result and no alcohol as confirmed by the state Toxicology Laboratory.

Alcohol-Drug impaired driver-involved means any driver with a positive drug result AND a BAC of 0.08 or higher as confirmed by the state Toxicology Laboratory.

Why is this important?

Impaired drivers were a factor in 44% of all traffic deaths between 2011-2013. In recent years, more fatalities involved a driver impaired by only drugs than drivers impaired by only alcohol. Nearly 25% of impaired driver-involved fatalities involved a driver impaired by BOTH alcohol and drugs.

The recent legalization of recreational marijuana (I-502) increases our concerns about drug-impaired driving. For information about marijuana and driving, visit : https://data.results.wa.gov/reports/Marijuana-and-Driving

What is being done?

Our system-wide approach in addressing impaired driving has led to support for prevention initiatives, comprehensive ignition interlock laws, and innovative, targeted full time DUI enforcement. Our relatively new Target Zero Teams (TZT) program is multi-jurisdictional which main focus is to arrest and remove impaired drivers from our roads. The TZT teams are functioning in five counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Yakima.

Action Plan

What are the results?

In 2011-2013, impaired driver involved deaths decreased 23% when compared to 2008-2010.

Ongoing Action Plan

Related Indicator: Target Zero Plan

Fact for Impaired Driver Involved Fatalities:

  • In the last three years, 50% of all traffic fatalities had alcohol or drug impaired driver involved
  • In 2012, drug impaired fatalities were higher than alcohol impaired fatalities
  • In fatal crashes 53% of impaired drivers were ages 16-34
  • Almost 60% of deaths occurred at night (7 p.m. - 4:59 a.m.)

Reported by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Washington State Patrol and report prepared by the Washington State Patrol.