Knowing the numbers of drunk driving incidents in the United States is a good way of understanding how serious this problem is. In general, around 28 to 29 people die in the US everyday due to alcohol-impaired driving, that’s approximately one death per 50-52 minutes.
Despite this record, there are a few strategies you can do to avoid crashing your vehicle since you’re under the influence of alcohol.
How Serious Is Drunk Driving Incidents in the US?
- In 2019, there are around 10,142 deaths reported that are caused by alcohol-impaired driving.
- There was a higher death count in 2016, approximately 10,497 people died due to fatal crashes linked to driving under the influence of alcohol.
- 214 out of 1,233 deaths due to car crash on the roadside is caused by a drunk driver
- Besides alcohol, 16% of the reported fatal car crash in the US involved the use of other substances like marijuana
- When it comes to DUI arrest, there were around 1 million drivers arrested during 2016. However, this is just 1% of the 111 million drunk drivers who turned themselves in.
- There’s also great economic loss due to car accidents due to driving under the influence of alcohol, and that’s approximately $44 billion each year.
1993-2014 Yearly Report for Self-Reported Drunk Drivers in the US
Besides the DUI arrest happening on the roadside, the US government also has records for those drunk drivers who turned themselves in from 1993 to 2014. Below is a summary of the report.
- There were around 123 drunk drivers who reported themselves during 1993, and then it gradually decreased by 6% for two consecutive years.
- The highest cases were in 1999, 2000, and 2006, where it’s around 159 to 161 drunk drivers.
- Starting from 2006, there is a continuous drop in the cases of self-reported drunk drivers, and that’s around 18% to 31% decrease.
- The lowest number of drunk drivers was in 2014 – that’s 111 individuals.
Which States Have the Highest Drunk Driving Rate in the US?
If you attended a party or any occasion which involved some drinking, and you took a couple of shots, then it’s best if you don’t put yourself behind the wheels. Unfortunately, some drivers still forget about this, and so we have fatal car crashes on the roadside.
Consequently, the US government implemented a zero-tolerance law against driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) for the majority of the states.
There are corresponding penalties for your first, second, third, and succeeding times of DUI arrest. In line with this, here are the top ten states with the highest cases of DUI.
- North Dakota: Around 5.17% DUI rate and it’s also where the highest rate of binge drinking happens.
- Wyoming: There are only a few residents in the area but it’s the second state with the highest DUI rate at 5.16%.
- South Dakota: Its DUI rate is 4.57%, but it has the highest DUI conviction.
- Wisconsin: Its DUI rate is 4.11%. Luckily, the state’s efforts and continued monitoring greatly reduced the cases of a fatal car crash due to DUI.
- Alaska: 4.11% DUI rate and for those convicted, their vehicle will be installed with an ignition interlocking device.
- Minnesota: Its DUI rate is 3.83%.
- Montana: Around 3.9% DUI conviction.
- Idaho: 3.73% DUI rate, perhaps the lowest among the states in the US.
- Nebraska: Approximate have a DUI rate of 3.65%.
- Iowa: It has the lowest DUI rate at 3.52% yet still alarming when binge drinking happens every weekend.
How Many Times Does A Person Drunk Drive Until He Gets Arrested?
It’s proven that prevention is better than cure, so if you’re attending an event and there’s likely to be drinks available, it’s best if you secure a driver or a place to crash when you’re extremely intoxicated.
You might think that you’ll get away with being a first-time offender for DUI, but the reality is that it will really depend on the laws in your state.
Some states have “zero tolerance” for DUI and could get you in jail even as a first-time offender.
What Holidays Have the Highest DUI rates in the US?
Typically, it’s during long weekends and holidays where you get together with your friends and families. It’s the time where you get to share moments with your loved ones at bonfires and barbecues.
Drinks will be inevitably present on the table, yet you have to set a limit to your glasses, especially when you’re driving yourself home. Oftentimes, the most tragic car crashes are caused by reckless decisions by putting themselves behind the wheel when they’re totally drunk.
Here are the deadliest holidays with the craziest DUI rates in history.
- Memorial Day to Labor Day: On average, around 260 teenagers die from car crashes due to drunk driving within these days, and it’s 26% higher compared to other times of the year.
- Independence Day: On average, there were around 629 motor accidents on the roadside recorded during this day, and the drivers were all intoxicated with liquor.
- Christmas: During this season of merriment, around 96.8 million families travel to see their loved ones and celebrate Christmas. However, the average number of car accidents due to alcohol-impaired driving is 414 during this time.
- Thanksgiving: It also includes Blackout Wednesday since a lot of people binge drink during these days.
- New Year: Food and drinks are splurging during the New Year celebration, yet it’s also the worst time to be on the road since the traffic jam is mostly caused by drunk drivers.
- St Patrick’s Day: Based on records from 2009 to 2013, the average death count due to alcohol-impaired driving is 276.
What Can You Do To Avoid Drunk Driving and Fatal Car Accidents?
Basically, you need to have the discipline when you’re planning to attend a gathering where drinks will be served. If you think, you cannot escape taking a few shots, then make sure to have a dedicated driver who can safely take you home.
Conversely, if you’re suffering from alcohol use disorder or binge drinking, then get advice from a doctor or addiction specialist. They have the background and skills to help you get a personalized treatment plan.
All things considered, moderate alcohol consumption is fine, just make sure not to drive when you feel tipsy already.