The Deadliest (and Safest) States for Drunk Driving (New)

Montana was ranked the most dangerous state for drunk driving, with 8.15 DUI-related deaths and 421.19 DUI-related arrests per 100,000 residents. Seven of the most dangerous states for drunk driving are in the West, with just two in the Northeast, one in the Midwest, and one in the South. The safest state for drunk driving is New York, with a drunk driving death rate of just 1.43 people per 100,000 residents.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Every state has far too many crashes and unnecessary deaths caused by drunk drivers
  • Drunk driving has decreased in some states, but in others, it’s still a serious safety issue
  • The CDC reports: every 51 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver in the United States

Having some fun and drinking in moderation is fine, but risking someone’s life by selfishly choosing to combine drinking and driving is inexcusable.

The CDC reports: every 51 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver in the United States.

Each day there is an average of 28 people killed by impaired drivers on our nation’s public roadways.

We aren’t just paying for lifelong injuries and deaths either. Alcohol-related car crashes are costing our country over $44 billion annually!

The problem is even worse during The 10 Deadliest Holidays to Drive, with drunk driving accounting for as much as 38% of fatal crashes on the worst holidays, up from the usual 28%.

Clearly, drunk driving is no little problem, which is why our team of expert analysts conducted an in-depth study to determine which parts of the U.S. are in the most trouble.

All 50 states plus D.C. were ranked according to five major drunk driving categories. Below is a countdown of the Safest to the Deadliest States for Drunk Driving in our nation.

#51 – New York

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 27.6%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 10.4%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.43
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 148.08
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1%

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#50 – Arkansas

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 21.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 25.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.92
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 224.31
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.4%

#49 – Utah

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 18.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 20.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.70
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 285.56
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 0.8%

#47 (Tie) – West Virginia

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 25.3%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 4.2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.71
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 241.77
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 0.5%

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#47 (Tie) – Georgia

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 23.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 2.8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.57
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 183.69
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 0.7%

#46 – Tennessee

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 21.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 11.2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.35
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 339.23
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.1%

#44 (Tie) – Mississippi

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 18.6%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 27.7%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.28
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 239.57
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

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#44 (Tie) – Maryland

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 25.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 18.8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.16
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 296.01
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.8%

#43 – North Carolina

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 24.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.49
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 299.41
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.2%

#42 – Minnesota

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 23.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 20.5%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.68
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 347.76
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.9%

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#41 – Michigan

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 22.2%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 11.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.38
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 277.70
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.2%

#40 – New Jersey

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 22.8%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 26.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.53
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 254.29
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.4%

#39 – Kansas

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 21.9%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 13.3%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.23
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 203.73
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.4%

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#38 – Illinois

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 29.1%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: 0%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.46
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 22.88
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.8%

#37 – Arizona

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 24.1%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 13.8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.35
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 339.02
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

#36 – Virginia

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 28.9%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 6.8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.62
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 238.76
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.5%

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#35 – Kentucky

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 21%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 6.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.94
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 380.91
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.4%

#34 – Pennsylvania

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 27.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 9.4%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.56
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 345.04
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.8%

#32 (Tie) – Delaware

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 31.1%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 5.1%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.89
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 37.29
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.7%

#32 (Tie) – Ohio

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 28.6%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 4.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.79
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 129.67
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2%

#31 – Indiana

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 25.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 22.7%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.18
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 203.41
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

#29 (Tie) – Oklahoma

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 26.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 7.1%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.59
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 310.94
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 0.9%

#29 (Tie) – Massachusetts

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 30.6%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 9.2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.75
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 132.24
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2%

#28 – Florida

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 26.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 6.7%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.08
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 170
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.7%

#27 – Missouri

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 25.8%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 8.4%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 323.80
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.3%

#26 – Alabama

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 26.9%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 13.4%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 5.74
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 167.09
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.3%

#25 – Connecticut

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 34.1%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 2.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.80
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 238.59
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.9%

#24 – District of Columbia

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 37%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 66.7%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.47
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.61
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.9%

#22 (Tie) – Wyoming

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 28.6%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 40.7%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 5.47
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 521.95
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.4%

#22 (Tie) – Louisiana

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 29.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 10%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.81
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 162.06
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.2%

#21 – Hawaii

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 28.3%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: 0%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.38
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 415.03
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.1%

#20 – Rhode Island

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 37.3%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: 0%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 1.8
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 257.38
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.5%

#19 – New Hampshire

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 29.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 21.2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 365.15
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.3%

#18 – Washington

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 30%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 12.6%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.21
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 318.45
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.9%

#16 (Tie) – Colorado

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 26.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 5.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.91
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 421.69
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.9%

#16 (Tie) – Nebraska

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 28.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: down 3.1%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.25
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 364.32
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.5%

#15 – Oregon

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 31.1%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: 0%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.76
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 348.90
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

#14 – New Mexico

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 29.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 20.4%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 5.67
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 296.87
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.1%

#13 – California

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 29.2%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 16.2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 2.70
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 330.58
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.9%

#12 – Texas

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 38.1%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 2.3%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 5.16
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 243.88
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.8%

#11 – Iowa

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 26.2%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 35.9%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.38
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 313.78
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.8%

#10 – Nevada

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 30.8%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 3.1%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.44
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 362.58
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.2%

#7 (Tie) – South Carolina

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 32.6%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 7.8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 6.67
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 321.44
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

#7 (Tie) – Idaho

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 30.4%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 10%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.57
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 368.06
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

#7 (Tie) – Wisconsin

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 31.8%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 1%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 3.34
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 429.08
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.2%

#6 – Vermont

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 43.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 80%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.32
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 235.99
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.8%

#5 – Maine

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 33.5%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.06
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 438.16
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.7%

#4 – Alaska

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 35.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 36.4%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 4.04
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 412.86
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 1.6%

#3 – South Dakota

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 39.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 2.2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 5.32
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 831.47
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.2%

#2 – North Dakota

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 44.2%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 2%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 6.60
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 755.32
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 3.4%

#1 – Montana

  • Percent of All Traffic Deaths that are Alcohol-Related: 44.7%
  • Percent Change from Previous Year: up 11.8%
  • Drunk Driving Death Rate (Per 100k Residents): 8.15
  • DUI Arrest Rate (Per 100k Residents): 421.29
  • Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much: 2.4%

Methodology

This in-depth study is based on the following data:

Our researchers compiled the information from the above reports to rank all 50 states plus D.C. according to five main categories:

  1. Percent of All Traffic Deaths that were Alcohol-Related in 2016
  2. Percent Change from 2015
  3. Drunk Driving Death Rate (For every 100,000 residents)
  4. DUI Arrest Rate (For every 100,000 residents)
  5. Percent of Adults Admitting to Driving After Drinking Too Much

Those five rankings were added together to reach a total score then final ranking as seen above.

Click here to see all 306 rankings and the score breakdown for the entire U.S. For all media inquiries, please email: [email protected]

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