On September 16, 2001, eight members of the University of Wyoming cross-country team — Justin Lambert-Belanger, Cody Brown, Kyle Johnson, Joshua Jones, Morgan McLeland, Kevin Salverson, Nicholas Schabron, and Shane Shatto — were driving back from Fort Collins, Colorado. Sometime after midnight, a pickup driven by another UW student crossed the center line on Hwy 287, slamming head-on into the Jeep carrying the runners. 

All eight young men were killed. It was the worst single loss of life, resulting from a vehicle crash, in the state’s history.  

This shocking incident received very little national attention, but the loss was deeply felt throughout Wyoming. On September 16, 2011, Governor Matt Mead signed an Executive Order establishing the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving whose mission is to increase awareness, enforcement, and treatment of impaired driving in Wyoming through strong, collaborative partnerships with public, private and non-profit organizations, as well as serving as a forum for research, discussion, and planning to reduce incidences of impaired driving in Wyoming.


Wyoming Statistics:

  • 2022 Report:
    • Alcohol was involved in 53.96% of all reported custodial arrests.
    • Drugs were involved in 21.22% of all reported arrests.
    • Driving under the influence arrests accounted for 30.86% of all reported arrests.
    • The average reported blood alcohol content for DUI arrests statewide was 0.1655.
    • 53% of persons arrested for DUI had a reported BAC level above 0.16 and 14% had a BAC of 0.24 or greater.
    • The average reported BAC for 402 persons who were arrested for DUI after being involved in a traffic crash was 0.1770.
    • The five-year age group with the highest percentage of DUI arrests was age 31- 35 (15.4%), followed by age 21-25 (15%) and 26-30 (13%).
    • In addition, 34.25% percent of persons arrested for DUI in 2022 had been arrested for DUI previously.
    • 84.5% of Wyoming residents believe that drinking and driving in their community is a serious or somewhat serious problem.
    • Driving under the influence (DUI) arrests accounted for 30.86% of all arrests statewide.
      • Counties with significantly higher statistics:
        • Lincoln – 54.11%
        • Teton – 53.48%
        • Sublette – 50.40%
    • 15.60% of the arrests for DUI involved drugs.
      • Counties with significantly higher statistics:
        • Carbon – 34.35%
        • Uinta – 25.00%
        • Albany – 20.10%
    • The average blood alcohol content (BAC) reported for 2,802 persons arrested for driving under the influence statewide was 0.1655.
      • Counties with significantly higher statistics:
        • Goshen – 0.1914
        • Carbon – 0.1808
        • Park – 0.1778
    • The average BAC reported for 402 arrests involving traffic crashes that involved alcohol was 0.1770.

National Statistics:

  • Most recent data (2021) from NHTSA
    • Every day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 39 minutes.
    • About 31% of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher).
    • The annual estimated cost of crash deaths involving alcohol-impaired drivers totaled about $123.3 billion* in 2020.2 These costs include medical costs and cost estimates for lives lost.

Mathew H. Mead