Report: Drunk driving deaths spiked 11.5% in Tennessee in one-year period

A deadly accident two years ago on APD 40 in Bradley County. Police say a drunk driver was the cause. Image: WTVC

A new study reveals drunk driving deaths in Tennessee spiked 11.5 percent in the period between 2016 and 2017.

The report comes from Delphi Behavioral Health, called "The State of Drunk Drivers Across America."

Tennessee ranked 20th in its increase in the study, with 3.7 deaths per 100,000 residents.

The report also found drunk driving deaths have increased by 3.5 percent in Georgia, and went down by 4.1 percent in Alabama (though Alabama's per capita's numbers rank it at 5 on the list).

Delphi Behavioral Health used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The report found that in 2017, 83 percent of drivers involved in deadly crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. That is the national standard established during the Clinton administration.

Even more alarming: 58 percent of drivers involved in a deadly wreck had a BAC of .015, almost two times the legal limit.

The report found that 27 percent of drivers involved in alcohol-related deadly accidents were between the ages of 21 and 24. 26 percent of them were between the ages of 25 and 34, and 15 percent of them were teenagers.

Read the full report here.

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