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Important Facts for Alcohol - Alcohol-related Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash (MVTC) Death


Alcohol-related motor vehicle traffic crash deaths estimated based on CDC ARDI alcohol-attributable fractions (BAC>=0.10)


Number of alcohol-related MVTC deaths in New Mexico


New Mexico Population

Data Interpretation Issues

According to the CDC's Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) website (, there are 54 causes of death considered to be at least partially attributable to alcohol. These include 35 alcohol-related chronic diseases (e.g., liver cirrhosis, alcohol dependence); and 19 alcohol-related injuries (e.g., motor vehicle crashes, poisonings, falls, homicide, suicide). Alcohol-related deaths are estimated by multiplying the total number of deaths in a cause-of-death category by the percent of deaths in that category that are considered to be caused by alcohol. This percent, the so-called alcohol attributable fraction (AAF), can vary from 100% for causes of death that are completely related to alcohol use (e.g., alcoholic liver disease, alcohol poisoning); to less than 100% for causes that are only sometimes related to alcohol use. For example, per CDC ARDI, the AAF for portal hypertension is 40%. This means that 40% of deaths from portal hypertension are considered to be caused by alcohol use. The AAF for homicide is 47% and for suicide is 23%. The AAF for alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes is age- and gender-specific, ranging from 49% for males ages 25-34 to 8% for females ages 65 and over. For more information on the AAFs used here see the CDC ARDI Methods webpage (

Why Is This Important?

Alcohol-related motor vehicle traffic crash (AR-MVTC) death has historically been the leading cause of alcohol-related injury death. Nonetheless, AR-MVTC deaths provide a hopeful example of a substance-related health outcome that has been successfully reduced by using a public health approach, both nationally and in New Mexico. From 1982 through 2010, in response to a wide range of policy and preventive interventions, New Mexico's alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crash (AI-MVTC) fatality rate declined more dramatically than the US rate, decreasing 83% and dropping New Mexico from first to tenth among states in AI-MVTC fatalities per 100,000 population. In terms of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), New Mexico's AI-MVTC fatality rate in 2015 (0.38) was one-sixth what it was in 1982 (2.4). Furthermore, a comprehensive AR-MVTC prevention campaign in place from 2005-2009 was successful in reinitiating rate decreases that had been stalled since the late 1990s. From 2004 to 2012 New Mexico's AI-MVTC fatality rate per 100 million VMT dropped 42%. Rates increased slightly in 2014 and dropped back in 2015. (2016 data not available at the NHTSA website yet.)

Healthy People Objective: SA-17, Decrease the rate of alcohol-impaired driving (.08+ blood alcohol content [BAC]) fatalities

U.S. Target: 0.38 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled

Other Objectives

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 23 October 2019 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:25:40 MDT