12 Facts About Drinking & Riding

  • Impaired driving is one of America’s most-often-committed and deadliest crimes. Overall in 2009, almost 11,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
  • The percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers of passenger cars, SUV’s or pick-up trucks. The percentages of drivers with BAC levels .08 g/dL or higher in fatal crashes in 2009 were 29 percent for motorcycle riders, 23 percent for passenger cars, and 23 percent for light trucks. The percentage of drivers with BAC levels .08 g/dL or higher in fatal crashes was the lowest for large trucks (2%).
  • Alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle—balance and coordination. So it plays a particularly big role in fatal Virginia motorcycle crash.
  • In 2009, 30 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle riders had BAC levels of .08 or higher. An additional 7 percent had alcohol levels of BAC .01 to .07.
  • Forty-two percent of the 1,903 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2009 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.
  • Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were 3.3 times more likely to have BAC levels of .08 g/dL or higher than those killed during the day (46% and 14%, respectively).
  • In 2009, motorcycle riders ages 40-49 who were killed in fatal crashes had the highest rates of alcohol involvement.
  • Far too many people still don’t understand that alcohol, drugs and motorcycle riding don’t mix. Impaired riding is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime.
  • Many motorcyclists believe they only hurt themselves if they are in a crash, but the pain, suffering, and financial costs often extend to family members, friends, employers, insurance companies, and others.
  • Riding a motorcycle while drunk is not worth the risk of losing your life, killing an innocent person, ruining your bike or going to jail.
  • The consequences of impaired riding are serious and real in Virginia. The trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for riding while impaired can be significant and can ruin your life.
  • Drunk drivers in Virginia often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, other fines and court costs, towing and repairs, lost time at work, and numerous other consequences.


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