Despite the minimum age for alcohol consumption being 21, there are many teens who drink and drive. In Wisconsin and across the U.S., drunk driving fatalities compose one third of all driving fatalities. Nationwide, an average of 3.4 per 100,000 people die in DUI-related crashes. The numbers will differ from state to state, of course, but one study shows a possible link between DUI fatality rates and the number of high school students who drink and drive.
The study, conducted by researchers at CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com, broke down data from the CDC’s High School Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Based on how many teens reported drinking and driving at least once in the previous month, researchers were able to rank the 15 worst states for teen drinking and driving.
Arkansas, Louisiana and Montana were the worst with 10.6%, 10% and 7.6% of teens, respectively, driving either after or while drinking. The drunk driving fatality rate for these three states was 4.8, 4.7 and 4.5 per 100,000 people. At the bottom of the list of the 15 worst was Idaho with 6% of teens drinking and driving and 3.5 DUI-related deaths per 100,000 people.
It turns out that the safest of all 50 states is Utah with 2.8% of high school students drinking and driving. Its DUI fatality rate is 1.7 per 100,000 people.
Drunk driving is a factor in many crashes that result in injuries. Victims of motor vehicle accidents have the ability to file a personal injury claim as long as the defendant is more to blame than they are. Auto insurance companies may deny payment, though, or force plaintiffs to agree to a low-ball offer for a settlement, so victims may want to consult a lawyer before they do anything else. The lawyer might hire investigators to prove that the other’s alcohol intoxication caused the crash.