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Texas Ranked 5th Worst in the Nation for Drunk Driving

Houston Car Accident Lawyer | Texas 5th Worst State for Drunk Driving

New research isn’t going to help Texas shake its reputation as a dangerous state for drivers.

The latest study, published last month by driver education company Zutobi, ranked Texas fifth worst in the nation for drunk driving, assigning the state a severity score of 69.8.

Texas Had 7.5 DUI Deaths/100,000 Drivers in 2019

To determine which states had the highest number of drunk driving incidents, Zutobi drew on data collected by the FBI and the National Highway Transportation Safety Board. The data suggested Texas logs around 360 DUI arrests and 7.5 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 drivers in the state, enough for fifth place.

North Dakota received the top severity score, with 92.1, followed by Wyoming and Montana. South Dakota ranked 4th, scoring 70.5, and Idaho followed directly behind Texas in 6th with 67.

Utah had the lowest drunk driving severity score, with 28, followed by Delaware (34.3), New York (37.3), New Jersey (37.8), and Vermont (38.7).

U.S. 9th in the World for Deadly Drunk Driving Accidents

In 2019, alcohol-impaired road fatalities accounted for nearly a third of all fatal road crashes in the United States. That’s a staggering 10,142 alcohol-related traffic deaths for the year!

Out of 56 countries included in the study, the United States was the 9th worst in terms of road fatalities  attributed to alcohol. The United States was also a clear outlier in terms of alcohol tolerance, one of only four countries with a legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit of 0.08 (U.K., Guyana, and Malaysia were the others).

The vast majority of alcohol-related road fatalities reported in the United States in 2019 were solely a result of drunk driving and would not have occurred otherwise.

Zutobi also reported that young people were more likely to be involved in a fatal accident while impaired by alcohol, suggesting older individuals are more adept at identifying their limitations and recognizing the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

According to the NHTSA, a driver with a BAC of 0.08 will experience:

  • Concentration difficulties
  • Difficulty maintaining speed
  • Impaired perception
  • Impaired judgment
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty processing information

Even a BAC of 0.05, which is within the legal limit, will result in reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and reduced reaction times.

Sadly, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving in the Lone Star State. According to early estimates from the Texas Department of Transportation, alcohol-related accidents killed at least 963 people across the state in 2020. That’s the equivalent of one drunk driving fatality every nine hours.

Texans are again reminded not to drink and drive and to find a sober ride when they plan to consume alcohol away from home:

  • Plan Ahead: Determine exactly how you’ll get home before you start drinking.
  • Take Turns as a Designated Driver: Travel in one vehicle when you’re heading out with friends and choose a designated driver who will not drink ANY alcohol.
  • Use a Rideshare Service: Leave your car at home and call a rideshare service to and from the bar. Be prepared by having the rideshare app downloaded on your phone and your phone battery fully charged before going out.
  • Call a Friend: Call a friend or family member for a ride if you’ve overindulged.
  • Sleep it Off” If you’ve been drinking at a house party, family gathering, or holiday celebration, ask your host if you can sleep it off on their couch.
  • Don’t Drink: Don’t feel like you have to drink while enjoying family celebrations and spending time with friends, especially if you know you’ll be driving yourself home.

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