The Correlation Between Speed and Alcohol Project
Alcohol involvement is prevalent for drivers involved in speeding-related crashes, according to the Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data, Speeding (DOT HS 811 751), published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Alcohol involvement is prevalent for drivers involved in speeding-related crashes, according to the Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data, Speeding (DOT HS 811 751), published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2011, 42 percent of speeding drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher in fatal crashes, compared to only 16 percent of non-speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes.²
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has been developing a series of informational briefs highlighting what agencies are doing to address the relationship between impaired driving and speed. The IACP has released informational briefs on the Duluth Police Department and the Washington State Patrol highlighting what these agencies are doing to address this relationship.
The Duluth, Minnesota Police Department
Through the use of Target Zero Death patrols the Duluth Police Department (DPD) aims to continually lower the rates of speeding and impaired driving fatalities on their roadways.
The DPD found that, through leadership, performance benchmarking, high-visibility enforcement, and location-based deployment, they were able to significantly reduced speed-and-alcohol-related fatalities. In 2012, the DPD made 273 DUI arrests, down 38 percent from 441 in 2009. Of those, 17 were derived from speed stops, down 46 percent from 32 in 2009. Read more about the DPD here.
The Washington State Patrol
Between 2006 and 2010, 91 percent of all traffic fatalities in Washington State were caused by speed and alcohol. While most of the Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) speed enforcement takes place during the day, Lt. Swainson with the WSP says, “The speed that’s most likely to cause a death is speed that's mixed with alcohol at night.” According to NHTSA, “the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010 was four times higher at night than during the day (37 percent versus 9 percent).”³
As part of the WSP and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission's Target Zero efforts, WSP established Target Zero Trooper (TZT). According to Lt. Swainson, TZT teams “focus exclusively on DUI enforcement—including common traffic violations that lead to DUI arrests, such as speeding– and work only nighttime shifts, when impaired driving is most prevalent,” During their two-year pilot program, their goal was to reduce fatalities by 80. At the conclusion of the program, they had saved 109 lives. Read more about the WSP here.
To learn more about what the DPD and the WSP are doing to address speed and alcohol contact Sarah Horn at email@example.com or call 703-836-6767, ext. 215.
² The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2010 Data, Speeding, DOT HS 811 636,
³ The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2010 Data, Alcohol-Impaired Driving, DOT 811 606,