Official: Most Nevada fatal crashes involve impaired drivers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Law enforcement officials working to bolster safety on roadways ahead of the holiday season say impaired drivers remain a contributing factor in more than half of all fatal traffic crashes in Nevada.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety says 55.4 percent of the 893 total fatal crashes in Nevada during a three-year period ending in 2018 were caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both. A total of 540 people died in those 494 fatal crashes involving substances.

“That’s 540 dreams lost and unfulfilled,” department spokesman Ancrew Bennett told the Las Vegas Review-Journal .

Clark County saw 334 substance-involved fatal crashes resulting in 360 deaths during that same period.

The data include fatal crashes that involved a driver whose blood alcohol level exceeded 0.08 percent, the presence of marijuana, a positive test for any illegal drug or a combination of multiple substances.

Looking to combat the long-standing problem, law enforcement and public safety officials have teamed up to raise the visibility of enforcement actions and increase education.

A DUI strike team jointly operated by the Nevada Highway Patrol and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has made 1,100 arrests since October of last year and will continue the effort, Bennett said.

Designated drivers are one way to make roads safer, he said. Motorists who intend to use an inebriating substance or prescription drugs should arrange to have a sober driver, use a ride-hailing service or take a taxi or public transit, he said.


Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal,