Alcohol-related crashes, injuries and fatalities reached their peak around 1979. After that year, the number of crashes and injuries dropped off considerably due to changes in legislation and intensive enforcement. Another considerable drop started occurring in 2008 mainly due to a poor economy and along with the factors listed above.
The chart to the right indicates the Wisconsin statewide injuries and total crashes (from 0 to 30,000) on the vertical axis on the left side while fatalities are on the vertical axis on the right side. The horizontal axis indicates the years from 1976-2015.
Alcohol related crashes, injuries and fatalities are compared using three separate graphics within the one chart. Trends, increases or reductions in the three areas are apparent when comparing.
Since 1990, alcohol-related fatalities have declined 43% (from 335), alcohol-related injuries have declined 71% (from 10,035), and alcohol-related crashes have declined 61% (from 13,309).
The number and rate of alcohol-related crashes has decreased over the past five years in Wisconsin, yet alcohol remains the single greatest driver contributing cause of fatal crashes.
In 2015, there were 5,174 alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin. An average of one person was killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash every 2.9 hours on Wisconsin roadways. Alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin accounted for 4.3% of all crashes
In 2015, alcohol was a contributing circumstance in 190 traffic deaths.
That represents 34% of all traffic fatalities. Of the 390 drivers who died in 2015, 358 (92%) were tested for alcohol. Of those tested, 122 (34%) tested positive for alcohol and 108 (30%) were legally intoxicated (0.08% Alcohol Concentration (AC) or higher).
In 2015, 28% of all pedestrians and 33% of all motorcycle operators killed in crashes had an alcohol concentration of 0.08% AC or higher.
During 2015, there were 2,872 alcohol-related injuries in crashes. This represents 6.9% of all crash injuries. Alcohol-related injuries have decreased by 61% since 1983, when there were 14,282 injuries.