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Worst States for Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a serious problem throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the number of people either killed or injured by drunk drivers is on the rise. Driving under the influence can have many serious consequences.

According to NHTSA, 31% of traffic fatalities are attributed to alcohol-related incidents, resulting in over 14,000 lives lost in 2021.

A recent study ranked states using metrics such as percent of traffic deaths caused by drunk drivers, DUI arrests, and the number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. The top ten worst states for drunk driving, according to this study, are:


The state averages 8.57 drunk driving crashes per 100,000 people. Additionally, about 7.14 people are killed in drunk driving-related crashes per 100,000 drivers. The state of Montana ranks the highest in the nation in both categories.

South Dakota

The second-ranked state is South Dakota, with more than one-third of the traffic deaths caused by drunk drivers. South Dakota also ranks number eight in the number of drunk drivers under the age of 21.


Texas ranks number three with the third-largest rate of fatal crashes involving people under the age of 21. Texas also ranked number two among fatal crashes with 8.30 per 100,000 drivers.


Wyoming comes in at number four with the second-highest rate of people killed in drunk driving crashes. The rate is 6.78 per 100,000 residents. Wyoming also has the fifth highest rate of drunk drivers under the age of 21 with fatal crashes.

North Dakota

North Dakota ranks number five on the list, with 832 DUI arrests per 100,000 licensed drivers. Nearly five people are killed per 100,000 residents.


Oregon ranks 6th with a score of 86.53 out of 100. Oregon has the 11th highest number of fatal drunk driving crashes for individuals under the age of 21.

New Mexico

New Mexico is ranked 7th with a 76.64 score. It ranks second in fatal crashes for drivers under the age of 21. New Mexico also ranks fourth highest in fatal crashes with 7.81 accidents per 100,000 drivers.

South Carolina

South Carolina comes in at 8th, with a 74.42 out of 100 rank. According to the overall numbers, South Carolina ranks third-highest in drunk driver-related crashes. They also rank sixth highest for fatal crashes of ages 21 and under.


Missouri has a 69.74 out of 100 ranking and is 9th on the list for drunk driving. Missouri has 5.92 fatal crashes every year out of 100,000 drivers.


Oklahoma ranks number 10 with a score of 64.49 out of 100. There are about 6.03 fatal car crashes each year per 100,000 licensed drivers. Oklahoma has a significant number of drunk drivers under the age of 21. In 2021, Oklahoma’s largest city saw 16 deaths and 123 injuries due to alcohol-related crashes.


Driving while drunk can have devastating consequences. Drunk drivers can face large fines, criminal charges, and even jail time. Crashes caused by drunk drivers cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year.