The influence that injury and hospitalization from alcoholrelated motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) may have on subsequent prosecution for drunk driving was studied utilizing concurrent controls consisting of three cohorts of drivers. The cohorts were drunk and injured drivers, drunk and not injured drivers, and sober and injured drivers. Despite the majority of intoxicated drivers being identified by police as having been drinking, evidentiary testing was not uniform. Culpability for the crash was high in the drunk cohorts compared to the sober drivers, and yet there was a statistically significant difference in the conviction rate of injured drunk drivers (59.2%), as compared to uninjured drunk drivers (100%). Injury and hospitalization for drunk drivers following MVCs affords protection from prosecution, and may enable ongoing risk-taking behavior by the drunk driver.