Best and Worst States for Drunk Driving

Find out which states have the worst drunk driving problems and which states are performing the best. Click for more info

  • Most dangerous
  • Least dangerous
Ranking(Worst to Best)StatePopulationFatalities (BAC)Score
.01-.07.08-.14>=.15.01-.07/Million.08-.14/Million>=.15/Million
1Wyoming579,31518361.7313.8162.1439.97
2South Carolina5,024,3696111120212.1422.0940.2031.09
3North Dakota755,393413335.3017.2143.6930.76
4New Mexico2,088,07025358511.9716.7640.7129.90
5Alabama4,874,747498018810.0516.4138.5728.28
6Texas28,304,5962474789908.7316.8934.9826.14
7Montana1,050,493720366.6619.0434.2726.02
8Mississippi2,984,10025481008.3816.0933.5125.02
9Louisiana4,684,333525515711.1011.7433.5224.24
10Arkansas3,004,2791747935.6615.6430.9623.02
11Oklahoma3,930,86428491167.1212.4729.5121.53
12South Dakota869,66612112413.8012.6527.6021.46
13Missouri6,113,53250801748.1813.0928.4621.25
14Arizona7,016,27059831958.4111.8327.7920.55
15Kentucky4,454,18932591227.1813.2527.3920.53
16North Carolina10,273,419641272866.2312.3627.8420.40
17Florida20,984,4001352795606.4313.3026.6920.02
18Idaho1,716,9431410508.155.8229.1219.64
19West Virginia1,815,8571329437.1615.9723.6819.13
20Tennessee6,715,98459871648.7912.9524.4218.97
21Maine1,335,9071017337.4912.7324.7018.88
22Georgia10,429,379691182486.6211.3123.7817.83
23Wisconsin5,795,48342511397.258.8023.9817.35
24Connecticut3,588,1841432883.908.9224.5217.20
25Delaware961,93959235.209.3623.9117.16
26Kansas2,913,1231035673.4312.0123.0017.10
27Oregon4,142,7762342955.5510.1422.9316.86
28Indiana6,666,81836781425.4011.7021.3016.32
29Michigan9,962,31160882236.028.8322.3816.25
30Nebraska1,920,076629383.1215.1019.7916.04
31Colorado5,607,15431601175.5310.7020.8715.81
32Alaska739,79525172.706.7622.9815.54
33Puerto Rico3,337,1772325716.897.4921.2815.37
34Nevada2,998,0391224654.008.0121.6815.32
35Maryland6,052,17720631233.3010.4120.3215.09
36Vermont623,65735134.818.0220.8414.96
37Rhode Island1,059,639114200.9413.2118.8714.67
38Hawaii1,427,538815275.6010.5118.9114.64
39Virginia8,470,02033771693.909.0919.9514.60
40Ohio11,658,60948982354.128.4120.1614.57
41California39,536,6531963997214.9610.0918.2414.04
42Illinois12,802,023691092405.398.5118.7513.97
43Iowa3,145,7111541474.7713.0314.9412.92
44Washington7,405,74333531254.467.1616.8812.38
45Pennsylvania12,805,537431042103.368.1216.4012.20
46DC693,97203130.004.3218.7312.02
47New Hampshire1,342,795512153.728.9411.179.46
48Massachusetts6,859,8191632882.334.6612.839.04
49Utah3,101,833821322.586.7710.328.20
50Minnesota5,576,6061925603.414.4810.767.95
51New York19,849,39947981972.374.949.927.44
52New Jersey9,005,6444038874.444.229.667.40

The methodology used for ranking the states was based on the number of drunk driving fatalities that occurred in that state per capita in 2017 and the BACs of the drivers in those accidents.

The more drunk driving fatalities per capita a state had and the higher the BAC of those drivers, the worse a state performed on this list. Lower numbers indicate a better score and higher numbers indicate a worse score.

Each BAC was weighted differently in the calculations.

For example,

  • Drivers with .15 BACs were considered worse for a state than drivers with BACs in the .08-.14 range.

  • And those drivers were considered worse for a state than drivers with BACs between .01-.07.

The weight that each BAC category was given in the calculations was determined by the percentage of deaths that occurred in that BAC category nationwide.

27%

of drunk driving deaths in the United States occured with drivers with BACs .08-.14.

15%

of drunk driving deaths in the United States occured with drivers with BACs .01-.07.

58%

of drunk driving deaths in the United States occured with drivers with BACs .15 or above.

The Formula

# of crash fatalities per million involving a BAC .15+ X .58

# of crash fatalities per million involving a BAC .08-.14 X .27

# of crash fatalities per million involving a BAC .01-.07 X .15

State's Drunk Driving Score

19.51%

# of drunk drivers
1,944

80.49%

# of drunk drivers
8,022

Drunk Driving by Age

How old are the drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes?

6.53% 16-20

648 # of drunk drivers

13.56% 21-24

1,347 # of drunk drivers

28.63% 25-34

2,843 # of drunk drivers

18.75% 35-44

1,862 # of drunk drivers

15.50% 45-54

1,559 # of drunk drivers

11.22% 55-64

1,114 # of drunk drivers

3.90% 65-74

387 # of drunk drivers

1.92% 75+

191 # of drunk drivers

Drunk Driving by Vehicle Type

These are the types of vehicle driven by drunk drivers in fatal accidents.

Passenger Cars

31.21%


# of drunk drivers: 4,297

Light Trucks

28.78%


# of drunk drivers: 3,962

Pickup Trucks

14.03%


# of drunk drivers: 1,932

SUVs

12.50%


# of drunk drivers: 1,721

Vans

2.06%


# of drunk drivers: 284

Large Trucks

0.84%


# of drunk drivers: 116

Motorcycles

10.56%


# of drunk drivers: 1,454

Breakdown of Drunk Drivers by Setting and Time

Percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes

45%

Rural

55%

Urban

7%

Rain

90%

Clear/Cloudy

3%

Other

70%

Dark

26%

Daylight

3%

Dusk

1%

Dawn

BAC Levels of Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes*

*in 2017

Ignition Interlocks

These are devices installed in cars of previous drunk driving offenders that require the driver to take a breathalyzer test in order to turn the vehicle on. Since people with prior drunk driving convictions typically become repeat offenders, these help to prevent that from happening and change the behavior long-term.

Law Enforcement Strategies

Local law enforcement can get tougher on drunk driving by setting up sobriety checkpoints and publicizing their efforts to crack down on drunk driving in order to discourage people from driving under the influence.

Administrative License Revocation

The enforcement of an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) restricts the driving privileges of a drunk driving offender while they await trial. This keeps offenders off of the road for longer and discourages their attorneys from delaying legal proceedings.