Worst states for drunk driving, ranked.

Traffic Safety Pulse News

(Forbes) The holiday season is a time to bring tidings of great joy, but too much mirth and merriment can result in overindulged drivers hitting the road. Nearly 40% of fatal car accidents on holidays involved a drunk driver in 2020.

Person driving a car, one hand on the steering wheel and the other is holding a beer

Beyond putting yourself and others in danger, drunk driving can result in jail, losing your license and paying thousands more for car insurance. Finding cheap car insurance after a DUI isn’t easy, either.

With the holiday season upon us, Forbes Advisor looked to determine which states have the highest and lowest rates of drinking and driving. We compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across six key metrics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the FBI. Forbes Advisor also surveyed 5,000 drivers to ask about their experiences with drunk driving during the holidays.

Key Takeaways

  • 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.
  • 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.

Read the full study by Forbes by clicking here.