Intoxicated driving is something that is a widespread problem internationally. In fact, there is no state, town, or city in the US that doesn’t have some form of DUI convictions within their respective communities. In order to educate and give preventative measures to make sure that drinking while driving becomes a less frequent trend, it is important to look at the info we know and understand that it can happen anywhere.
So, which state has the most DUIs?
The states that have the most DUI convictions will surprise you – here is a list of the 15 states with the most DUI convictions:
15. South Carolina
Ah, South Carolina – one of the most vibrant states along the east coast. Filled to the brim with culture, history, and…buzzed driving? Surprising, but definitely true; South Carolina has 582 DUI convictions for every 1,000 citizens.
Oh no, Ohio! This state comes in just above South Carolina with 585 DUI convictions for every 1,000 people. Ohio is also one of the few states to allow people under the age of 21 to drink, provided they are around parents or legal-age spouses who are also drinking. Perhaps this phenomenon may affect minors more than we would expect?
Think that being more rural and surrounded by mountains affects drinking habits? Perhaps so, but not in a positive light; Wyoming has about 586 DUI convictions for every 1,000 citizens. This may be even more dangerous if an intoxicated driver is confronted with inconsistent, rural roads!
The amount of DUI episodes that occur in Montana shows a rising trend from previous states, totaling 603 convictions per 1,000 citizens. This doesn’t mean that you can ride a horse while intoxicated, either! Being careful on all forms of travel is essential.
Ah, the big state of Texas doesn’t get off scot-free either; for every 1,000 people in Texas, there are roughly 605 DUI convictions! When considering just how large of a state Texas is, it’s surprising that this isn’t higher.
While Iowa is known as one of the safest states to live in, it ranks pretty high on our list with 620 DUIs per 1,000 people. How can a state truly be safe if intoxicated driving incidents make up over half of the population? The Hawkeye State may need to give more provisions and extra care to DUI policy if it wants to avoid being the state that has the most DUIs.
Cracking the top 10, Alabama may be full of waterways, but it appears those are not the only place where drinks flow! Alabama is one of the states that has had a colorful history of the age for alcoholic consumption, with it being lowered to 19 in 1975 before being raised back to 21.
8. South Dakota
South Dakota has approximately 623 DUIs per 1,000 people, placing it near the top of our list.
The number of DUIs in Michigan brings us higher up the list, with 689 per 1,000 citizens. Because of the other societal issues in some cities such as Detroit and Ann Arbor, this may not come as a surprise. Because substance abuse is more prominent in those cities than other places in Michigan, it may raise this statistic.
Missouri is a state with strict policies regarding intoxicated driving, often resulting in immediate suspension or revocation of driving privileges if one is caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that surpasses the legal specification. A DUI is also considered a misdemeanor after two occurrences, with the severity rising to a Class D felony after 3 offenses. This strictness doesn’t mean that they’re immune to drunk driving, though—Missouri stays high on our list with 701 DUIs per 1,000 people.
Louisiana is one of the states with an extensive history of a lower drinking age than the rest of the US; the last time the drinking age was lowered to 18 in Louisiana was as recent as 1996, 3 months after which it was promptly raised back to 21. That being said, there are many exceptions, including if the person under 21 is accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian, through prescriptions, or in a private residence. Louisiana also is in our top 5 with 728 DUIs per 1,000 residents.
Nebraska surpasses the top 5 with 832 DUI convictions per 1,000 people.
The state containing so much American history unfortunately doubles as a state with a very high DUI rate. Though the city of Boston is much different than the small town of Natick or even the more rural areas of Amherst, they are all connected by the trend of drunk driving; Massachusetts has 835 DUI cases per 1,000 people. The amount of traffic going in the more metropolitan areas of Massachusetts make this a very intimidating fact!
Though not our #1, Delaware, known as the first state, definitely has an issue with DUIs; for every 1,000 people residing in Delaware, there are 843 intoxicated driving episodes.
1. North Dakota
So, finally, which state has the most DUIs? At the top of the list rests North Dakota, the state with the most DUIs. For every 1,000 people, there were 988 DUIs reported. Perhaps this may have some relation to its neighboring Canada, where the drinking age is usually 18 or 19 years old. This could have an effect due to people either visiting, drinking there, and heading back to North Dakota.
Drunk driving can be terrifying; it affects your senses, ability to reason, and focus, all affecting and impairing your driving skills. The fact that many states have over 50% of the population involved in some sort of DUI shows that there is an issue with the culture but also with education.
Moving forward, emphasizing healthy drinking habits and being able to assess one’s ability to drive effectively is integral to our society decreasing the amount of DUIs. We hope this list was helpful for showing you just how pervasive of a problem this is no matter which state you’re in!