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Texas Drunk Driving Death Rate 4th Worst in the Nation

Houston Car Accident Lawyer | Texas 4th Worst Drunk Driving State

How serious is Texas’ drunk driving problem?

Apparently, it’s bad enough to earn the Lone Star State a fourth-place ranking among the worst states in the nation for drunk driving deaths.

Texas Reported 7.76 Drunk Driving Deaths Per 100,000 Residents

Buy Auto Insurance, a third-party resource that provides auto insurance information, analyzed drunk driving fatality statistics from all 50 states compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2016 and 2018, along with population data from the U.S. Census Bureau from the same time period.

The research team then calculated a per-capita statistic — drunk driving traffic deaths per 100,000 in-state residents — to determine the ranking for each state. The 10 worst included:

  • Mississippi: 8.77 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • South Carolina: 8.40 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • New Mexico: 7.94 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Texas: 7.76 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Louisiana: 6.74 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Alabama: 6.15 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Arkansas: 5.91 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • North Carolina: 5.85 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Florida: 5.77 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Arizona: 5.46 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Texas recorded 5,129 drunk driving traffic deaths during the period covered by the study. The report’s authors also confirmed that Houston is one of the worst cities in the country for drunk driving deaths and warned motorists to proceed with caution when traveling in Texas’ largest city.

Impaired Driving Kills More than 10,000 People Annually

Drunk driving has been a problem across the United States for decades, where impaired motorists kill over 10,000 people every year, including more than 1,000 children. Shockingly, the average drunk driver drives over 80 times before being arrested.

Nationwide, drunk driving deaths fell by 4.3% between 2016 and 2018. However, three of the 10 worst states actually saw drunk driving fatalities rise during that period:

  • Arizona: 11%
  • Arkansas: 4.9%
  • Alabama: 19.3%

Texas was one of six top 10 states that saw drunk driving deaths decline:

  • Alabama: 18.7%
  • Louisiana: 8.1%
  • New Mexico: 6.8%
  • Florida: 6.8%
  • Texas: 3.6%
  • North Carolina: 2.8%

Texas Drunk Driving Penalties

Texas considers a motorist legally intoxicated when blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%, but a driver is breaking the law as soon as drugs and alcohol begin to impair their driving.

Penalties for drunk driving range from up to a $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, and loss of license for up to a year for a first offense to a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in prison, and loss of license for up to two years for the third offense.

Drunk driving with a minor under the age of 15 can also result in an additional charge of child endangerment, an additional fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in jail, and loss of license for another 180 days.

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