In 2020, 181 people died in alcohol-related car accidents in the state of Arizona. In total, there were 4,506 alcohol-related crashes in the state throughout the year, resulting in thousands of injuries and more than a billion dollars of property damage. Drunk drivers are oftentimes unable to moderate their vehicle’s speed and trajectory, leading to crashes that cause severe injuries and substantial destruction. In today’s article, we explore some of the statistics on alcohol-related crashes in Arizona in 2020, the last year for which there is a full year’s worth of data.
What’s the Historic Trend of Alcohol-Related Crashes in Arizona?
From 2015 to 2020, there were no less than 4,506 alcohol-related crashes in Arizona during any given year. The total number of such annual incidents peaked in 2015 at 4,965, before dropping for a two-year period. Although alcohol-related collisions did increase again in 2019, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic changed the trajectory of crash statistics in the state significantly. With less drivers and vehicles on the road, the number of all types of traffic collisions dropped noticeably.
How Many Annual Injuries & Fatalities Occur in DUI Crashes in Arizona?
Even at low speeds, a car accident can cause moderate or serious injuries. Collisions exert tremendous amounts of force upon accident victims. Since the vehicle(s) involved in an accident come to a stop incredibly quickly, the force of their immediate deceleration is applied indiscriminately to their occupants. According to the Stone Rose Law group, the forces exerted during a collision can result in:
• Serious burns
• Bone breaks or fractures
• Limb amputation
• Permanent scars
• Soft-tissue damage
• Head, neck, or brain injuries
• Spinal cord damage
We reviewed Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT) records on injuries and fatalities sustained in Arizona car accidents in 2020. Some noteworthy findings:
• In total, 3,038 people suffered injuries of some degree in a collision
• More men suffered fatal injuries (130) and non-fatal injuries (1,830) than women (51 and 1,027, respectively)
Economic Impact of Alcohol-Influenced Arizona Crashes
When measuring the impact of DUI crashes, the primary consideration certainly ought to be the number of lives influenced negatively by alcohol-influenced crashes. Every year, thousands of innocent motorists suffer serious or fatal harm through no fault of their own. At the same time, it’s important to remember that alcohol-influenced collisions simultaneously cause a considerable sum of economic losses and damages. The majority of economic losses were tied to fatalities in DUI crashes, accounting for $1,722,282,151 of a grand total of $2,326,504,005 in damages.
Breaking Down Alcohol-Related Crashes by Vehicle Type Involved
As demonstrated in the table below, most alcohol-related crashes in Arizona throughout 2020 involved standard civilian vehicles. Over half of the state’s collisions involved a passenger car (2,420). Pickup trucks and station wagons each made up just under 17% of crash vehicles. Relatively few recorded DUI crashes involved recreational vehicles, such as golf carts or ATVs. Although they comprised just 0.50% of all alcohol-related crashes, motorcycles were involved in 14.39% of fatal collisions.
|Motor Vehicle Type||# Crashes||% of Total||# Fatal Crashes||# Injury Crashes||# Property Damage Crashes|
|ATV or Cycle||20||0.50%||5||13||2|
|Vehicle Type Unknown||189||4.30%||1||75||113|
Alcohol Related Crashes by County
It stands to reason that the more populous cities and counties of Arizona will have a higher number of traffic accidents of all kinds, including alcohol-related collisions. The data compiled by the AZDOT does appear to confirm this, as Maricopa County leads all others in terms of the overall number of alcohol-related crashes, fatally injured victims, and other injured people. Greenlee had the fewest alcohol-related crashes, with only two recorded throughout 2020. Outside of Maricopa, Pima, and Yavapai counties, no other counties had more than 175 alcohol-related collisions during the year.
|Total # Crashes||# Fatal Crashes||# Injury Crashes||# Property Damage Crashes||# Victims Killed||# Victims Injured|
Potential Consequences for Drunk Drivers in Arizona
Being convicted of a DUI in Arizona can carry life-altering consequences, particularly since the state does not currently offer expungements or record sealing for most criminal offenses. As such, those who are convicted of felonies in the state may find it challenging to secure employment or housing. Some of the other potential penalties of a DUI conviction include:
- Jail or prison time
- Increased insurance costs
- Penalty fees and fines
- Required installation of an ignition interlock device
- Suspension or revocation of a driver’s license
What to Do If You’re in an Alcohol-Related Crash
Being in a car crash can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the most skilled of drivers. If you do experience a collision, try your best to stay calm and follow these steps:
- Call 911 if anyone is injured in the wreck.
- Obtain names, telephone numbers, addresses, and driver’s license numbers of all drivers and passengers involved.
- Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, injuries sustained, and debris in the road.
- Reach out to a local car accident attorney familiar with local DUI and personal injury laws.