Alcohol Studies

Drinking Drivers in North Carolina

Driving after drinking is uncommon. During nighttime hours, when most drinking occurs, only about 2 percent of drivers have an illegal BAC (> .08%) and only 11 percent have anything to drink. However, because of the risks caused by alcohol impairment, those who drive after drinking too much are more likely to crash. In 2003, nearly 5 percent of crashes in North Carolina involved a drinking driver. Alcohol-involved crashes are usually more serious. In 2003, a quarter of all fatal crashes involved alcohol.

Project Web Sites

North Carolina Alcohol Facts
Provides statewide and county-specific data for North Carolina regarding DWI arrests and convictions as well as alcohol involvement in crashes.
“2 out of 3 zero BAC”
Web site for the multi-year UNC Social Norm program that reduced both student drinking and driving after drinking.
Drinking and Recreational Boating
A substantial proportion of boating deaths involve drinking. HSRC researchers conducted a ground-breaking study that established a precise estimate of the risks of drinking for recreational boaters. These are essentially identical for passengers as for operators.
College Student Drinking
HSRC researchers developed an innovative campus program that used breathalyzer data obtained in late night interviews with several thousand college students to challenge misperceptions about student drinking, resulting in a decrease in drinking and driving after drinking.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in a person's blood. Research on the effects of alcohol has found that some cognitive functions involved in driving are affected at BACs as low as 0.04%. Many driving-related abilities are affected at a BAC of 0.08%. Consequently, legal BAC limits have been lowered to 0.08% in all states.