During the times of year when people like to socialize – Independence Day, Thanksgiving, the Christmas/New Year’s holiday – it’s important to remember not to drink and drive or to make sure you arrange for alternative transportation if you do plan to imbibe.
It’s also customary for various organizations to publish rankings about how states perform when it comes to DUI arrests and DUI fatalities. Here are the results of a few of these rankings:
New Mexico is in the lowest 10
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measured the percentage of adults who say they drove after drinking too much during 30 days in 2012, New Mexico drivers had the ninth-lowest percentage.
The 10 best were:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
The bottom 10 were:
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Internet company places N.M. 9th
Backgroundchecks.org, an internet information company, took data from the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to come up with a ranking for the best and worst states for drunk driving.
When measuring the number of DUI deaths per 100,000 population, Wyoming comes out as the worst with 9.56 deaths while New Jersey is the best with only 1.24 deaths. New Mexico places 11th with 4.71 DUI deaths per 100,000 population, between Texas and Kentucky.
When measuring the number of DUI arrests per 100,000 people, South Dakota comes in last place with 844 arrests. Illinois is tops with only 29 arrests per 100,000 people. New Mexico places 8th with 410, between Wisconsin and Kentucky.
Albuquerque places in the middle of the pack
This survey doesn’t deal with drunk driving, but it does take a measure of safe driving and it aggregates the data by cities.
Allstate issued its annual Best Drivers Report that measures cities on average years between claims and how many hard-braking events per 1,000 miles as measured by the company’s Drivewise tool.
Out of 200 cities in the U.S., Albuquerque ranked 87th overall, between Miami and Lancaster, California. The top city was Brownsville, Texas. The worst was Baltimore.
Albuquerque drivers had an average of 8.5 years between claims – the national average was 10 – and 20.7 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles – the national average is 19.
Where New Mexico Ranks Now
How much has changed over the last nine years? BackgroundChecks.org says New Mexico has the sixth-highest DUI severity score. DUI severity is measured by factoring DUI arrests per 100,000 people and DUI fatalities per 100,000 people. These numbers are based on 2018 data, the most recently available.
Other takeaways from the survey include:
- Fifth in DUI death rate per 100,000 people
- Sixth in DUI arrest rate per 100,000 people
- Twenty-eight percent, or more than 1-in-4, of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related
New Mexico has just the 37th largest population among U.S. states. Twenty-nine states had more DUI arrests but New Mexico had a higher rate than many of them.
What This Means For You
Any time a drunk driver is on the road, they pose a threat to other drivers and themselves. If you or a loved one are injured or a loved one of a wrongful death victim, you may have legal recourse available.