N.H. 11th in DUIs in U.S.

A new study shows the Granite State ranks 11th in most driving under the influence arrests in America, with 357.84 arrests per 100,000 residents. The national average is 309.8 arrests per 100,000 people.

Since 2007, only two states (Delaware and North Dakota) have seen an increase in DUIs. However, Drunk driving kills more people than murder, rape, aggravated assault and burglary combined and still accounts for one-third of all traffic accidents.

As you read this today, 30 people in the U.S. will be killed in traffic accidents caused by drinking and driving. That amounts to one death every 48 minutes. While rates of deaths and arrests related to driving under the influence have fallen, driving while intoxicated still causes almost one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States

And despite widespread public understanding that driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous – a 2018 survey found that a higher percentage of American drivers said they were very concerned about drunk driving than about violent crime, gun control or unemployment.

Historically, the arrest rate in rural areas for drunk driving has always been higher. Right now, that number is 585.6 per 100,000 residents. (Suburbs, 324.1 and Urban counties, 350.3.)

Amherst Police department Captain Mark Reams said DWI offenses in his jurisdiction have remained steady for four years.

“In 2018, there were 62; 2017 there were 45; 2016, there were 60; and in 2015 there were 62,” he said. “Most of our DWI arrests occur on one of the two major state roads, 101A or 101 through town. But they do happen elsewhere.”

He added that roughly 2/3 or 66% of DWI and drug-related arrests occur on those two major corridors.

In New Hampshire, since 2007, DUI’s in New Hampshire have decreased by 19.2%. (Nebraska has seen the largest decrease in the U.S. of 95.1% during this period.)

Twenty-six percent of traffic fatalities in New Hampshire include a drunk driver. D.C. was highest with 51% and Utah was the lowest at just 19%.

The ten states with the most DUIs: South Dakota (938.75 per 100,000 people), North Dakota (836.39), Wyoming (561.53), Maine (436.78), Colorado (422.03), Alaska (419.31), Hawaii (418.06), Montana (413.52), Wisconsin (406.2) and Vermont (392.84)

Perhaps the most famous anti-drunk driving slogan, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” launched in 1983 and is still used today, and it’s clear the slogan has largely been a success: Since 1985, just two after the slogan’s introduction, the percentage of crash deaths involving alcohol-impaired drivers had fallen from 41% to 29%.