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Statistics on drunk driving attest to the fact that drinking and driving have led to countless tragedies across the United States. People have lost spouses, parents have lost children, and lives full of promise have been cut short in the blink of an eye. The cost of drunk driving, in terms of human suffering, can never be accurately measured.

In the year 2018, 29 percent of all U.S. motor vehicle deaths involved driving under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, according to the NHTSA, there are consistently more deaths related to drunk driving in rural areas than there are gun-related deaths. Drunk driving fatality statistics like these all point to the same inescapable conclusion: drinking and driving is a deadly epidemic that must be stopped. People need to be made aware of the statistics involved and act accordingly.

Recently, Safer-America compiled a report for Butler, Wooten, and Peak LLP on the Highest Drunk Driving Fatality Rates in the United States. The following information presents some key findings from that report.

Highest and Lowest Rates, by State

The above-mentioned report compiled the number of drunk driving deaths by state. The rate of drunk driving fatalities was calculated per 100,000 people in the state.

The report shows that in 2018, the lowest rate of drunk driving fatalities was 0.77 (in the District of Columbia), and the highest rate was 8.28 (in Montana). The following summary shows the five states with the highest rates of drunk driving fatalities and the five states with the lowest rates:

The 5 States with Highest Rates

  • Montana – 8.28
  • Wyoming – 6.06
  • South Carolina – 5.74
  • South Dakota – 5.44
  • New Mexico – 5.25

The 5 States with the Lowest Rates

  • District of Columbia – 0.77
  • New York – 1.11
  • New Jersey – 1.35
  • Massachusetts – 1.67
  • Connecticut – 1.90

Largest Year Over Year Increases and Decreases, by State

As law enforcement officers continue to crack down on drunk driving, and people become more aware of the serious consequences that could result from one poor decision, drunk driving fatality statistics will continue to drop throughout the nation. In some states, rate decreases from 2017 to 2018 have given a reason for some optimism. In other states, however, significant increases have caused understandable consternation.

Here is a list of the five states with the largest year over year rate increases in drunk driving deaths by state, and the five states with the largest decreases:

The 5 States with Largest Increases

  • New Hampshire – 74.07%
  • Alaska – 45.45%
  • Montana – 22.22%
  • New York – 15.43%
  • South Dakota – 11.63%

The 5 States with the Largest Decreases

  • Washington, D.C. – 64.29%
  • Connecticut – 37.61%
  • North Dakota – 35.29%
  • Hawaii – 26.83%
  • West Virginia – 24.05%

Awareness of Drunk Driving Fatality Statistics

Drunk driving fatality statistics underscore the seriousness of driving under the influence. While some of these statistics on drunk driving paint a grim picture, others offer hope for continued improvement. It is important that this issue is brought to people’s attention. Awareness of the inherent dangers involved in driving while intoxicated may prevent future tragedies.

Who We Are

At Draeger Interlock, we are committed to making roads safer and preventing future tragedies by providing ignition interlock devices to drivers that must use them, as mandated by a court of law. For over a quarter of a century, our goal has been to help customers regain their independence while assisting them in forming more constructive, less harmful habits. Our products allow customers to get back on the road safely, quickly, painlessly, and affordably.

If you’d like to learn more about our ignition interlock devices, reach out to us today for further information. One of our team members would be happy to assist you with any questions you have.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.