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U.S. Drunk Driving Fatality Rates by State [Interactive Map]

Which states have the highest drunk driving fatality rates in America? The interactive map below displays the rate of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers for each state in the country, using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Darker colors indicate a higher rate, while lighter colors indicate a lower rate.

Hover over any state to see its drunk driving fatality rate in 2018.

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The Highest Drunk Driving Fatality Rates in America in 2018

In 2018, Montana had the highest drunk driving fatality rate by far, with 11.04 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers. Neighboring state Wyoming ranked second with 8.31 drunk driving deaths, and South Carolina ranked third with 7.79 deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers.

Interestingly, most of the states which routinely rank high for total alcohol-involved driving fatalities – California, Florida, and Texas – ranked either low or middle-of-the-pack in fatality rate:

  • California reported 3.51 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers, despite having 920 drunk driving fatalities in 2018 – the highest in the nation.
  • Florida had a higher drunk driving rate than California, despite having nearly a third fewer fatalities, with a rate of 4.44 deaths per licensed drivers.

Texas is the exception in this case: it is one of the few states in the nation with a drunk driving fatality rate (5.73) just as high as its total fatalities (910). For comparison, California had ten more total fatalities than Texas in 2018, yet Texas’ drunk driving fatality rate per 100,000 licensed drivers was significantly higher.

That may sound particularly grave in Texas’ case, but after looking at yearly drunk driving fatalities of every state, we can place valuable context on these numbers.

Total Drunk Driving Fatalities by State 2010-2018

State 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Alabama 227 268 298 244 265 259 240 261 264
Alaska 32 22 30 22 22 16 15 21 16
Arizona 205 278 240 267 200 221 230 212 206
Arkansas 143 140 132 159 136 121 144 154 178
California 920 1,120 1,122 902 876 880 829 774 774
Colorado 211 177 161 151 160 140 134 160 120
Connecticut 68 120 116 100 97 126 100 94 119
Delaware 28 32 37 39 52 38 35 41 37
Dist of Columbia 5 16 12 7 5 7 3 8 7
Florida 652 839 905 794 694 672 709 694 678
Georgia 296 366 384 358 279 296 295 271 299
Hawaii 30 42 38 37 30 34 47 45 43
Idaho 59 60 76 71 53 57 52 50 72
Illinois 309 349 335 309 302 330 322 278 292
Indiana 150 220 215 170 160 199 230 207 194
Iowa 78 88 108 78 91 101 96 83 85
Kansas 70 102 100 82 108 98 104 108 134
Kentucky 167 181 176 192 171 166 169 172 168
Louisiana 228 212 227 244 247 232 235 219 226
Maine 42 50 62 50 37 41 50 23 40
Maryland 131 186 142 159 130 137 163 161 154
Massachusetts 115 120 148 105 143 125 129 126 122
Michigan 294 311 244 266 212 249 261 256 236
Minnesota 119 85 95 115 108 95 114 109 128
Mississippi 120 148 132 171 172 207 191 159 174
Missouri 235 254 247 221 205 244 283 258 257
Montana 88 56 84 76 73 93 89 82 72
Nebraska 71 67 62 64 60 60 73 45 50
Nevada 83 89 102 99 93 81 85 70 69
New Hampshire 47 27 40 32 29 45 32 27 45
New Jersey 120 125 137 107 161 148 164 194 160
New Mexico 110 120 120 98 117 98 97 104 119
New York 217 295 295 315 312 369 340 328 360
North Carolina 394 413 439 389 363 368 372 359 389
North Dakota 33 46 52 51 55 61 72 63 46
Ohio 326 333 330 309 302 266 389 310 335
Oklahoma 159 165 190 170 156 170 209 222 218
Oregon 124 137 151 154 99 103 88 96 70
Pennsylvania 291 314 340 363 349 360 407 398 424
Rhode Island 23 34 19 19 17 23 28 26 27
South Carolina 292 313 341 306 331 339 348 309 353
South Dakota 48 35 45 44 44 41 44 33 37
Tennessee 210 251 227 253 273 284 286 259 288
Texas 910 1,468 1,478 1,392 1,446 1,327 1,290 1,216 1,270
Utah 70 53 53 46 57 37 32 54 46
Vermont 22 18 28 15 8 19 24 18 18
Virginia 250 246 223 205 216 263 209 228 207
Washington 165 178 160 145 132 151 143 157 169
West Virginia 60 72 69 72 84 91 94 93 87
Wisconsin 226 190 197 188 165 177 202 197 203
Wyoming 35 44 34 55 48 25 41 38 53
National 9,308 10,874 10,996 10,280 9,943 10,084 10,336 9,865 10,136

Although high total drunk driving fatality numbers and fatality rates in a singular year can pose a significant concern, looking at the year-over-year changes in total drunk driving fatalities can provide valuable context to the progress of a state regarding traffic safety and drunk driving enforcement. In this case, it’s important to note that drunk driving fatalities have consistently risen since 2010 in nearly all states, but 2018 saw a sharp decline in fatalities across the board – especially in states where high fatality numbers are usually expected.

This includes Texas, which went from 1,468 total drunk driving fatalities in 2017 to 910 the following year – a 38% decrease in alcohol-involved driving deaths. Seeing such a significant positive trend is arguably more important to traffic safety in the Lone Star State than singular yearly numbers and statistics. It is our hope that this downward trend in drunk driving fatalities continues, so that we may be able to pinpoint what programs and safety initiatives have contributed to this progress in curbing drunk driving fatalities.

Posted in: Auto Accidents, Drunk Driving Accidents

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