COLUMBIA, S.C. — The holidays bring joy and plenty of socializing to celebrate the season but too much merriment also means more intoxicated drivers are on the road.
With the holiday season upon us, Forbes Advisor analyzed data to reveal which states have the highest and lowest rates of drinking and driving.
The company looked at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the FBI for all 50 states and the District of Columbia across the following six metrics:
- Number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers: 20% of the score.
- Number of DUI arrests per 100,000 licensed drivers: 20% of the score.
- Number of people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver per 100,000 state residents: 15% of the score.
- Percent of total traffic deaths that were caused by drivers with a BAC of 0.01-0.07: 10% of the score.
- Percent of total traffic deaths that were caused by drivers with a BAC of 0.08 or higher: 20% of the score.
- Number of drunk drivers under age 21 involved in fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers: 15% of the score.
The study found that South Carolina ranks #7 among the worst states for drunk driving, noting 289.6 drivers received a DUI for every 100,000 licensed drivers and 29.6% of South Carolina deaths in 2020 were caused by a drunk driver.
Montana topped the list, followed by Wyoming, Texas, North Dakota, and South Dakota rounding out the top five worst states for drunk driving.
The top five states with the fewest drunk drivers were the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Utah, Delaware, and New York, according to Forbes Advisor.
Other highlights of the report:
- Montana topped the list of states with the highest rate of drunk driving, followed by Wyoming and Texas.
- The District of Columbia fared the best with the lowest rate of drunk driving, with New Jersey and Utah coming in second and third.
- The western part of the country dominated the states with the highest rate of drunk driving, including five of the 10 worst states: Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, and Idaho.
- The eastern seaboard had seven of the 10 states with the fewest drunk drivers: the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
See how the rest of the country stacks up in the full report.
Forbes Advisor also surveyed 5,000 drivers to ask about their experiences with drunk driving during the holidays and found:
- More than half of American drivers (54%) are concerned about getting into an accident when driving on holidays.
- Among drivers who are concerned, the top worry cited is other drivers drinking at holiday parties (76%).
- Nearly 40% of American drivers say they have witnessed friends or family members who appear intoxicated drive home from a holiday party.
See the full report HERE.
On Saturday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) South Carolina will honor and remember those who lost their lives or were seriously injured, as the result of an impaired driving crash at its annual Hope & Remembrance Vigil.
During the Vigil, attendees can speak the name of those they are remembering/honoring and hang a heart with their loved one's name on it on our victim memorial tree. The featured speaker will be Colonel Christopher Williamson, Commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
The vigil will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at Palmetto Collegiate Institute, 104 Hendrix St., Lexington, SC 29072.