NY’s Low Drunk Driving Rates Could be a Sham

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NY does not include data for low-BAC drivers involved in accidents. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

New York prides itself on its low drunk driving rates — based on available data, New York has the fourth-lowest drunk driving rates in the country. A new report, however, shows that this data may not be entirely accurate. In fact, New York could have much higher drunk driving rates than we realize.

The National Safety Council (NSC) analyzed police reports from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. They examined what data police were tracking and recording with regards to motor vehicle crashes. They found huge gaps in the data, with many states lacking fields or codes for a variety of possible accident causes.

New York was one of six states that had no data on low blood-alcohol content (BAC). Drivers in New York are considered legally drunk if their BAC measures 0.08 percent. Police do not record if the driver’s BAC is below this threshold, even though that could still be a factor in a crash. By not recording this data, the NSC says, state officials have no way of knowing how often low-BAC levels are a factor in accidents. Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, and Virginia also lack data on low-level impairment.

Other findings from the report reveal:

  • No state crash reports have fields or codes for police to record the level of driver fatigue at the time of a crash.
  • No states have data or codes to report the use of driver-assistance technologies.
  • 26 state reports lack fields to capture texting.
  • 32 states lack fields to record hands-free cell phone use.
  • 32 states lack fields to record specific types of drug use identified on positive drug tests, including marijuana.
  • 47 states lack data to record the use of infotainment systems while driving.


A conviction for drunk driving in New York can result in over $1,000 in fines and up to a year in prison. The court could also mandate the installation of a $700 interlock device. Moreover, a conviction is almost guaranteed to make your insurance premiums skyrocket or even result in you being dropped by your insurer altogether.

If you or someone you love has been charged with drunk driving or any other traffic violation in New York, you need to get legal assistance fast. The attorneys at the Rosenblum Law have extensive experience fighting drunk driving charges and other traffic violations in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.

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This post was written by Adam H. Rosenblum Esq.

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