South Carolina Ranked Third-Highest State for Fatal Drunk-Driving Accidents

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A list of states with the highest number of drunk-driving accidents was complied. Data on fatal alcohol related car accidents, DUI arrests, beer consumption, consumption of alcohol by minors and binge drinking were analyzed to give a clear picture of the troublesome states. In all, South Carolina was ranked the third-highest, behind Montana and North Dakota, which ranked No. 1. Fatalities The main statistic used was the number of fatalities within each state that were caused by impaired drivers. South Carolina reported 7.6 deaths for every 100,000 residents. To put this in perspective, Montana had nine and North Dakota had 10.3 fatalities per 100,000 people. Just below South Carolina on the list, was Wyoming, with 6.9. Alarmingly, a little over 36 percent of South Carolina's fatalities were children. DUI Arrests During the time frame examined, the total number of DUI arrests within the state was 17,906. As the states were ranked highest to lowest, South Carolina came in at 20. Though it's nearly the mid-point, it's worth noting that the region has one of the weakest first-time offender penalties in the country. Those with a BAC of 0.15 or greater only lose their license for one month, while other states have commonly adopted policies that start at 90 days, and even some stripping offenders of the privilege for a full six months immediately. Beer Consumption Per capita, South Carolinians drank 32.7 gallons of beer, which put them at the No. 16 spot on the list. For comparison, North Dakota was the No. 1 state, with its residents consuming 45.8 gallons per person. Typically states with higher beer consumption have an increased number of binge drinkers as well. Binge Drinking According to the CDC, a person has engaged in binge drinking when his or her blood-alcohol level reaches 0.08 or higher. Most often, this means an average-size man has to consume five drinks in about two hours, or a woman must consume four. Only 15.4 percent of South Carolinians reported recent binge drinking, which made it the eighth-lowest state in the country. North Dakota, on the other hand, was first in beer consumption and second in binge drinking. A whopping 23.8 percent of residents there reported having copious amounts of alcohol at one time recently. Minors Consuming Alcohol Overall, the region scored very low in regard to minors abusing alcohol as well. It was the twelfth-lowest state, with 22.2 percent of underage people having had a recent drink. North Dakota came in at No. 3 with 32.8 percent of minors admitting to partaking. On the whole, South Carolina's statistics weren't overtly bad. However, the state was in the upper-half for DUI arrests and beer consumption. The most concerning issue is the number of needless fatal drunk-driving accidents. During the time of the study, nearly 360 deaths occurred on local roadways as a result of pure negligence.

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