Impaired Driving Average Defendant Gender & Age*

Average Defendant Age

Average Defendant Gender





Female 27%


Under 20


30-39 21-29


40-49 50-59 60-69 70 or Older

Male 73%



*Age and Gender data based on cases where appropriate information could be collected.

Of the cases monitored in 2020, MADD observed that the majority of impaired driving cases involved male defendants (73%) of which 32% were between the ages of 21 and 29; followed by ages 30-39 (28%). Based on cases monitored, this information indicates that the male population between the ages of 21-39 is consistently responsible for impaired driving (32% of cases overall when compared to both gender and age). Additionally, 5% of the cases observed involved individuals under the age of 21. As part of our lifesavingmission, MADD knows that by preventing underage drinking today, we can end drunk driving tomorrow. Research shows that kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash. 3 In addition, studies have show that teens who do NOT drink alcohol until they are 21 are 85% less likely to become a drunk driver later in life than those who drink before age 14. 4 This is why our hopes for a safer future are riding on tomorrow’s drivers. By getting today’s youth off to a good start, we are taking a giant step toward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving. To learn more about MADD’s underage drinking prevention programs visit https://www.madd.org/the-solution/teen-drinking-prevention .

Covid-19’s Impact On Impaired Driving & The MADD Court Monitoring Program

While vehicle miles traveled decreased by 5% during the first quarter of 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic, the projected traffic fatality rate only decreased by 1% during the same timeframe 5 . Despite there being fewer drivers, this did not stop fatality crashes, especially those related to drug and alcohol consumption. In addition, a recent study by the Office of Behavioral Safety Research revealed 65% of those involved in a serious or fatal crash tested positive for at least one active drug (alcohol, cannabis or opioids). This percentage represents an increase in both opioid and cannabis use compared to data 6 months prior to the pandemic 6 . There is no doubt that drugged driving —meaning drugs other than alcohol — is a serious problem. For more information on MADD’s efforts to prevent drug-impaired driving and its release of the 2020 MADD Cannabis Report: America’s Perception On Consumption and Road Risk, visit madd.org/the-solution/drugged-driving-prevention. In addition, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions within the criminal justice systems around the nation and posed numerous challenges to everyday business operations. MADD court monitors remained diligent and complied with any state, county, and court-specific restrictions and guidelines. Upon review of 2020 case data, MADD saw that arrests remained constant for impaired driving offenses, even during lockdown, while many court hearings were delayed due to ongoing local closures of courts. This inevitably will lead to a certain backlog of cases, and we fear, may potentially result in a reduction of guilty verdicts. It is imperative that MADD continues to monitor cases around the nation to review any trends that were a direct result of how the pandemic interfered with DWI/DUI case filings, arrests, and prosecution. It should be noted that this impact will inevitably be felt for all types of criminal offenses, not solely impaired driving.

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