Are those couple of beers you drank before you got behind the wheel worth $16,000? Well, if you live in Illinois, according to DUI accident statistics, that's how much it would cost to pay for your mistake. Not to mention the risk you pose to your life and the lives of others on the road.
The high legal cost is just one of many issues drunk drivers must take responsibility for. From the physical (fatalities, medical expenses, and property damage) to the financial (taxpayer costs, insurance rates), a DUI accident causes irreparable harm to all involved.
DUI fatalities have been on a steady decline, falling by a third in the last three decades. Despite this decline, drunk driving crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives per year. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports approximately 1.5 million people are arrested annually for DUI, a person will drive drunk on average 80 times before their first DUI arrest.
Depending on where you live, some states rank much higher on average than others with alcohol-related accidents, arrests, and fatalities. Read on to learn more.
DUI Affects Everyone
A DUI accident conviction prevents employment opportunities or can end them altogether. Failing to complete an online DUI class will result in even more penalties.
A DUI accident raises car insurance rates, can revoke a professional license, and suspend your driver's license. According to 2014 NHTSA data, drunk driving costs the United States $44 billion a year.
Data from MADD and the CDC was used to rank the top five states with the most dangerous alcohol-related incidents. Factors, such as DUI accident history, arrests, penalties, fatalities, and state taxpayer fatality costs, were considered.
Five States with the Highest DUI Accident Rates
"Big Sky Country" has a fatality rate of 9.4 deaths per 100,000 - three times the national average. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is considered legally drunk in the state, yet many say Montana has relaxed penalties.
Annual Drunk Driving Deaths: 85
Adults Who Reported Driving Under the Influence Too Much: 3.8%
License Suspension: Six months for the first offense
Percentage of Alcohol-Related Fatalities: 45%
The "Badger State" uses the term "Operating While Intoxicated” (OWI) instead of DUI, but the meaning is the same. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported in 2015 a total of 28,790 people arrested for OWI and of those arrested, 21,516 were on their fourth OWI conviction.
Annual Drunk Driving Deaths: 193
Adults Who Reported Driving Under the Influence Too Much: 4.4%
License Suspension: Six to nine months for the first offense
Percentage of Alcohol-Related Fatalities: 32%
3. South Dakota
Mandatory jail time is not required in South Dakota, which makes the "Mount Rushmore State" the softest on drunk driving convictions. Individuals in the 20-29 age group ranked highest in alcohol-related deaths. Over 10,000 arrests were made in 2016, spiking the state's average by over 11%.
Annual Drunk Driving Deaths: 46
Adults Who Reported Driving Under the Influence Too Much: 2.5%
License Suspension: Up to one year for first offense.
Percentage of Alcohol-Related Fatalities: 39%
Coming in at second place, the "Cowboy State" averages about 1,100 alcohol-related accidents per year. Of those accidents, about 32 are fatalities. A long-term study revealed that Wyoming averaged 93.3 deaths per 100,000 residents, the absolute worst in the country.
Annual Drunk Driving Deaths: 32
Adults Who Reported Driving Under the Influence Too Much: 2.2%
License Suspension: Three months for the first offense
Percentage of Alcohol-Related Fatalities: 29%
1. North Dakota
The "Peace Garden State" ranks number one in drunk driving fatalities. Four out of 10 traffic fatalities are the result of a drunk driver. Although sobriety checkpoints are allowed in the state, the number of DUI arrests was low (number 11 in 2012) with minimal jail time.
Annual Drunk Driving Deaths: 50
Adults Who Reported Driving Under the Influence Too Much: 3.3%
License Suspension: three to six months for the first offense
Percentage of Alcohol-Related Fatalities: 45%
Learn More Within the Privacy of Your Own Home
If you've been convicted of a DUI accident, you may be required to take an online alcohol class. Check out our website and enroll in one of our convenient online classes today.
North Metro Online Education is a premier defensive driving, DUI school, and alcohol and drug evaluation counseling center. We provide a wide variety of online classes to satisfy your court or DMV requirements. Offering classes in ALL 50 states, we're a leader in U.S. distance learning programs.