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Notice to Readers: Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Motor-Vehicle Crashes ---United States, 1998--1999

The following table compares alcohol involvement in fatal motor-vehicle crashes by age group and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for 1998 and 1999. A fatal crash is considered alcohol-related by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) if either a driver or nonoccupant (e.g., pedestrian) had a BAC of >0.01 g/dL in a police-reported traffic crash. Because BACs are not available for all persons in fatal crashes, NHTSA estimates the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities on the basis of a discriminant analysis of information from all cases for which driver or nonoccupant BAC data are available (1).

From 1998 to 1999, the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities decreased 1.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]=--3.6%--0.7%). For BACs >0.10 g/dL (the legal limit for intoxication in most states), fatalities decreased 1.4% (95% CI=--3.8%--1.1%), and for BACs of 0.01--0.09 g/dL, fatalities decreased 1.7% (95% CI=--2.9%--1.6%).


  1. Klein TM. A method for estimating posterior BAC distributions for persons involved in fatal traffic accidents: final report. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1986; report no. DOT-HS-807-094.

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