Statistics and Stories on Drunk Driving Accidents in New York


Statistics show that the drunk driving problem in New York and the United States remains a serious problem that potentially touches any one of us.

The most recent statistics indicate that there were 10,511 traffic fatalities in the U.S. that involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2018. That equates to more than 28 drunk driving deaths per day, or one about every 50 minutes.

  • 6,364 (61%) of those who died were alcohol-impaired drivers
  • 1,389 (13%) were passengers of alcohol-impaired drivers
  • 1,580 (15%) were occupants of other vehicles
  • 1,178 (11%) were pedestrians or cyclists

Nearly a third of all traffic deaths in 2018 were alcohol-related.

Among drivers who had a .08 BAC or higher at the time of their death in a drunk driving accident in 2018:

  • 27 percent were age 21 to 24 (the most represented age group)
  • 25 percent were motorcycle riders
  • 21 percent drove passenger cars
  • 19 percent drove light trucks
  • 3 percent drove large commercial trucks
  • 22 percent of children age 14 or younger who died in car accidents died in drunk driving crashes

Drunk Driving in New York

3,233 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in New York from 2009-2018.

In New York in 2018, 307 people were killed in drunk driving accidents.

5,340 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes in New York in 2018.

41,331 drivers were arrested in New York for impaired driving in 2018. Impaired driving arrests include arrests for alcohol-related and drug-related violations under New York’s VTL 1192.

In New York City, from January through November 2020, 159 motor vehicle collisions that caused death or injury were alcohol-related.

New York State Police conducted 1,218 dedicated DWI patrols in fiscal year 2019, resulting in 255 DWI arrests, 28 arrests on charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs (DWAI-Drug) and 281 criminal arrests.

New York State Police conducted 244 highway sobriety checkpoints in FFY 2019, resulting in 405 DWI arrests, 41 DWAI-Drugs arrests and 424 criminal arrests.

In response to a 2019 survey by the NY Department of Motor Vehicles, 16 percent of New York men said they had driven within two hours of drinking at least once in the previous 30 days.

11 percent of NY women said that they had driven within two hours of drinking at least once in the previous 30 days.

11 percent of drivers under 21 years of age reported driving after drinking in the 2019 survey.

In a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, 1.3 percent of New Yorkers said they had driven a vehicle after drinking too much.

More than two-thirds of men (67%) and more than 7 of 10 women (71%) surveyed by NY DMV in 2019 said they thought someone would get arrested “always” or “most of the time” if they drove after drinking.

If You Have Been Hurt in a Car Crash with a Drunk Driver in New York, Our Lawyers Can Help

Despite public awareness campaigns that have led to a significant decrease in the number of deaths attributable to drunk driving over the last several decades, drunk driving remains a major concern for everyone on the road in New York City. A poor decision to drive while intoxicated can forever change the lives of a carload of people.

A drunk driver may face criminal charges after a drunk driving accident. But the victim of the accident who has serious injuries may need to pursue a separate civil lawsuit against the drunk driver to seek compensation to cover the cost of losses. If you have been injured as a result of a drunk driving accident in New York, you may be entitled to compensation for your costs and losses. The New York car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., represent victims of car accidents harmed by impaired drivers.

For a free initial evaluation of your case, contact our firm today by calling (917) 722-1852 or by filling out our online contact form. The aftermath of a car accident can be a challenging time for an innocent victim of negligence or recklessness, but an experienced attorney at David Resnick & Associates can seek justice for you and your family.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Alcohol-Impaired Driving

New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee – FFY 2019 Highway Safety Annual Report

New York City Police Department – Motor Vehicle Collisions

A Nassau County Police Department ambulance was responding to a call with its lights activated on Dec. 13, 2020, when it was struck on its driver’s side by a Hummer driven by an allegedly drunk driver. The police medic driving the ambulance suffered a dislocated bone in the left arm, fractured left hand and neck and back pain as a result of the crash. Joaquin Cabrera, 57, was charged with driving while intoxicated, third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving. – EMS1

A motorist who was allegedly driving drunk and traveling 97 mph in New York City on Nov. 21, 2020, allegedly killed a hospital worker from New Jersey when he T-boned the healthcare worker’s Toyota Camry at Parsons Boulevard and Union Turnpike. Daniel Crawford, 52, of Bloomfield, N.J., was killed while headed to work at 4 a.m. Alamin Ahmed, 22, of Albany, was arraigned on charges that included vehicular manslaughter and driving while under the influence. –

Alina Morales, 62, was killed Nov. 22, 2020, as she crossed Atlantic Avenue near her home in Boerum Hill in Brooklyn and was struck by a car allegedly driven by a man whose license has been suspended five times. Jasen Nhambiu, 49, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operator, driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license, and refusal to take a breath test. – New York Post

Video captured the sight of an SUV filled with children and their mother flying off of a Long Island roadway and crashing into a suburban home on Oct. 4, 2020. Ashley Thomas-Smith, 34, was charged with driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of children. Three girls, ages 4, 5 and 8, were uninjured and released to their father. The mother was treated for minor injuries. – New York Post

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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