Worst States for DUIs

By: Jonathan Baktari MD / CEO US Drug Test Centers

A new study found that Missouri has the nation’s No. 41 highest rate of drunk-driving arrests. Missouri’s rate of DUI arrests in 2018 was 219.6 per 100,000; the national average was 330 per 100,000.

An estimated 30 people are killed in drunk-driving accidents every day in the U.S. Despite the widespread awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, many states have rates of DUI arrests that are troubling.

US Drug Test Centers.com recently released its study, Worst States for DUIs, which uses the latest data from the FBI on arrests for driving under the influence in 2018 and how those rates have changed over time.

Here are key findings in Missouri:

• No. 41 in rate of DUI arrests with 219.6 per 100,000 in 2018.

• No. 50 in 10-year change between 2009 and 2018 with -63.1% decrease.

Here are key national findings:

The 10 states with the highest DUI rates are: South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, Maine, Washington, Alaska and Wisconsin.

The 10 states with the lowest DUI rates are: Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Alabama, Ohio, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Illinois, Delaware.

More than half of DUI arrests were in people between the ages of 21 and 39.

American adults engage in about 130 million episodes of drunken driving in an average year, according to research from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention despite the specter of accidents, fines and arrests.

While obviously, the risk of causing an accident is the most important reason to avoid drinking and driving (about 30 Americans per day are killed in drunk-driving accidents), the legal ramifications of a drunk-driving conviction can be very serious — fines, lost wages, potentially even removal from your job.

Even a first offense could carry total costs of as much as $25,000 [3], depending on factors like the level of impairment, treatment and education classes ordered, attorneys fees and random testing requirements.

Just over 1 million people were arrested for driving under the influence in 2018, according to new data released by the FBI, accounting for nearly 1 in 10 of the total arrests made across the entire country that year. Drunk-driving arrests and DUIs, which includes driving while under the influence of any substance, are more common than arrests for aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft or fraud.

While the number of DUI arrests has declined overall in the U.S. over the past five years, several states have disturbingly high rates of drunken-driving arrests and some have seen such arrests become more common over the years. Where are DUI arrests more likely, and where does your state stand in the mix? To understand, we’ll take a look at data from the FBI’s most recent update, Crime in the U.S. 2018, as well as the past several years of the report.

Demographics of Drunken Driving

U.S. law enforcement agencies reported more than 1.01 million arrests for DUI in 2018, according to FBI data, which is a decline from 2014 levels but represents a modest 1% increase from 2017. [6]

Men are far more likely than women to be arrested for DUI [7]. In arrests where the suspect’s sex was reported, men accounted for nearly 3 in 4 DUI arrests in 2018. However, both men and women have seen their DUI arrest totals fall over the past 10 years.