Let’s start with some good news: Since the 1980s, drunk driving has been on the decline. Due in large part to campaigns against drunk driving, non-profit groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), ride-sharing services, and increased law enforcement, there are fewer drunk drivers on the road.
Now, the bad news: Drunk driving continues to exist at unacceptably high rates. In 2019, there were over one million DUI arrests. For perspective, that number outpaces the number of arrests in 2019 for robbery, rape, and burglary combined. That same year, intoxicated drivers caused 10,142 fatalities nationwide.
While we continue to have far too many drunk drivers on the roads, the prevalence of drunk driving varies across multiple demographics and from state to state. Wondering how the states stack up? Below is a breakdown of some of the worst and best states when it comes to drunk driving:
Drunk driving rankings – Top 5 states (worst to best):
#2: South Dakota
#4: North Dakota
Wyoming received the dishonor of being named the worst state for drunk driving in 2020. This is due to its high DUI fatality rate and its ranking as the 3rd highest DUI arrest rate in the country. Similarly, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, and Mississippi are characterized by high DUI arrest rates and high DUI fatality rates.
Drunk driving rankings – Top 5 states (best to worst)
#43: New Jersey
Note: Four states – Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois – were not included in the rankings.
Many of these states, where drunk driving is of less concern, are clustered in the northeast, which may indicate that drunk driving is less prevalent in that part of the country. Utah, however, is an interesting outlier. While nearby states rank high on the worst list, Utah is in the bottom ten in both DUI fatality rate and DUI arrest rate. Why does Utah rank lower in drink driving rates? Mormonism and heavy state-wide alcohol regulation are major factors.
How does Virginia rank in drunk driving statistics?
Virginia ranks in the bottom half of the pack at #38, meaning that Virginia has fewer DUI arrest rates and fewer DUI fatality rates than most other states. While that is good news for Virginians, drunk driving remains a concern in the Commonwealth.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced car accident attorneys at Allen & Allen for a free consultation, at 866-388-1307