Study Names Worst State for Drunk Driving

It's North Dakota, though Montana isn't great, either
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2016 8:54 AM CDT
Study Names Worst State for Drunk Driving
North Dakota is the most dangerous, study finds.   (Shutterstock)

Be careful on the roads in North Dakota. The state is the most dangerous in the country when it comes to drunk driving, according to an analysis by It considered five factors: a state's drunk-driving-related deaths and arrests in 2015, its penalties and laws, and its cost per fatality; each measure was then weighted, with fatality rank being the most prominent factor (see full methodology here). North Dakota was followed by Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Why? Tyler Spraul, the study's director, cites "higher than average alcohol consumption," for one.

Indeed, USA Today flags a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that found North and South Dakota, Idaho, and Wisconsin were among 2009's biggest alcohol consumers. Spraul further tells USA Today "a higher chance of running into dangerous driving conditions with sleet, snow, and ice during the winter months could [also] be the reason that we're seeing so many of those northern states rank poorly." Potentially undermining that argument: The wintry states of Alaska and Minnesota ranked 46th and 47th, respectively. They were followed by Georgia, Indiana, and Florida, with Utah 51st (the District of Columbia was included). See where your state ranks here. (Drivers in Minnesota and North Dakota who were arrested for drunk driving after refusing a breath test took their case to the Supreme Court, and the justices seemed swayed.)

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