Nationwide, more than 300 people die during the holiday travel period between Christmas and New Year’s, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Georgia State Patrol reports that more than 26 people have already died on Georgia roads since the holiday travel period began.

But when it comes to drunk driving-related crashes, where does Georgia rank in the nation?

According to a recent study conducted by SafeWise which compiled information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Peach State comes in at No. 21.

Safewise examined impaired driving deaths per state and showed 3.51 drunken or impaired driving deaths per 100,000 people in Georgia in 2017.

So which state had the most impaired driving deaths?

  1. Wyoming (7.59 per 100,000 people)
  2. South Carolina (6.22 per 100,000 people)
  3. North Dakota (6.08 per 100,000 people)
  4. New Mexico (5.74 per 100,000 people)
  5. Alabama (5.49 per 100,000 people)

New Jersey had the fewest number of impaired driving-related deaths with 1.38 per 100,000 people.

Other findings from the study:

  • 80% of the most dangerous states were also in the top five in 2016—Wyoming is the only newcomer, replacing Montana as the state with the most impaired driving deaths per capita.
  • Montana went from the state with the most dangerous roads (9.58 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people in 2016) to number 27, with 5.33 deaths per 100,000.
  • Wyoming climbed from eighth place (5.98 deaths/100,000) to the worst state for impaired driving fatalities, topping the list with 7.59 deaths per capita in 2017.
  • Every state in the five worst (except Wyoming) decreased its rate of drunk driving deaths year over year in 2017.
  • 80% of the worst states have no minimum jail time for first-time DUI offenders. South Carolina is the outlier with two days for a first offense.³
  • The majority of US states require mandatory alcohol abuse assessment or treatment after a DUI conviction, but neither is required in four out of the five worst states for drunk driving deaths.⁴
  • Among the five states with the most drunk driving deaths, the average minimum fine for the first DUI conviction is $300, compared to $524 among the five states with the fewest drunk driving deaths.⁵
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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as agricultural news. She has a background in Political Science, with a focus in local government, and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. She's a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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