Drunk drivers cause more than 17,000 deaths annually. This equates to 310 funerals each week or one death every 30 minutes.

In New York State slightly more than 30% of the fatal crashes are alcohol related.

There is also an injury every 2 minutes associate with drunk driving. A driver suspected of impaired driving may be asked to submit to a blood, breath, urine or saliva test to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs in the body.

About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.

In New York State, a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle may be considered legally impaired if their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.05% A driver is legally intoxicated if their BAC is 0.08% or greater.

In a recent study, NHTSA found that 16% of weekend nighttime drivers (roughly one in six) tested positive for illicit drugs.

Drivers on New York's highways are deemed to have given their consent to a test of their blood, breath, urine or saliva for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol and or other drugs. A refusal to submit to a chemical test will result in automatic license suspension, even if found not guilty of impaired driving. This entire set of guidelines is called the Implied Consent Law.

Underage Drinking

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for 15 - 20 year olds.
  • Drivers under age 21 represent about 5 percent of licensed drivers, but are involved in 14 percent of fatal crashes.

  • Data published in a "Monitoring the Future" study indicated one in ten high school seniors reported driving after smoking marijuana within the two weeks prior to the survey.

  • Despite a decline in youth drinking, evidence suggests that underage impaired driving is increasing.

  • More than 5,000 drivers under age 21 were arrested for DWI last year; over 8 percent of all such arrests.

  • As a parent, you can not give alcohol to your teen's friends under the age of 21 under any circumstances, even in your own home.

If nothing is done, more young lives will be lost. Help prevent these tragedies by reporting illegal purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors by calling 1-866-UNDER 21.

Your confidential tip will be investigated. You just might save someone's life.


Cost of Drunk Driving

Drivers under the age of 21 comprise just 5% of licensed drivers in New York State, but are involved in 14% of the alcohol related crashes.

New York has instituted new laws and programs in an effort to prevent these tragedies.

  • It is unlawful for persons under the age of 21 to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages (except in religious services)

  • It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or more, the equivalent of a single alcoholic beverage in most people.

If you are found in violation of driving with a prohibited BAC can be fined, required to do community service, and lose their driving privileges for 1 year or until age 21, whichever is longer.

Estimated Costs Associated with Being Arrested for Drunk Driving Amount
Towing / Car Storage $100.00
Bail $250.00
DWI Fine $500.00
Attorney's Fees $1,500.00
Court Fees $200.00
Loss of Two Days of Work $250.00
Alcohol Evaluation $90.00
Crime Victims Fund $10.00
Victim Impact Panel $20.00
Probation Fee $30.00
Drinking Driver Program $175.00
Conditional License $75.00
License Reinstatement Fee $50.00
Increased Insurance Rates for 3 Years $5,000.00
Total $8,250.00

Traffic Safety Committee

For more than three decades, New York has been a leader in reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries resulting from alcohol and drug impaired driving. At the core of the state’s well-established comprehensive system for addressing impaired driving is a set of strict laws which are supported by effective enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, and offender programs.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) plays the central role in the promotion and coordination of multiple components of New York’s Impaired Driving Program. The funds and other resources GTSC invests to reduce impaired driving are complemented by a number of other federal, state, local and private sector activities. 

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