According to a new survey by personal finance website WalletHub, Arizona was once again named the toughest state when it comes to DUI. It’s no surprise that drunk driving is a national epidemic, especially considering 28 people die each day as a result of drunk driving-related crashes. But what is surprising is the wide degree of variation between how states handle drunk driving cases.
The survey was broken down into two separate rankings: criminal penalties and prevention. In the first category, Arizona was also ranked as first in the country, followed by Georgia in second and Alaska in third.
Additionally, Arizona ranked as the second strongest state when it comes to prevention of drunk driving, tied with Utah and coming in only after Arkansas.
While Arizona’s first place finish is impressive, it’s the consistency of the state’s efforts against drunk driving that make it truly admirable. Arizona is the only state that ranks highly in both criminal penalties and preventative measures.
Many other states tend to rank higher in a single category. Arkansas, for example, might come in ahead of Arizona for preventative measures, but it comes in at 48th place for preventative measures, dropping the state down to 22nd place.
In fact, Arizona is so far ahead of the rest of the United States that it finishes almost 15% ahead of Georgia, the next nearest state, and nearly 65% ahead of South Dakota, the lowest scoring state.
In order to judge the strength of the penalties, the survey compared metrics including jail time, fines, and whether or not additional penalties were added for more extreme levels of blood alcohol content (BAC). Other important considerations included whether or not endangering a child was a consideration in the criminal proceedings.
In order to determine the prevention measures, the survey’s authors examined whether vehicles were impounded after a DUI, whether or not the state used checkpoints and any legislation involving ignition interlock devices and other car breathalyzers, including the length of time they are installed.
All totaled, there are 55 possible points for a state to collect between the preventative and penalty categories. After those points were calculated, they were converted into percentages.
As mentioned above, ignition interlock devices play a large role in deciding the effectiveness of a state in handling drunk driving, accounting for eight of the possible 55 points, nearly 15% of the total.
The data doesn’t lie: Arizona is certainly no slouch when it comes to DUI laws. From ignition interlock devices to steeper penalties, the rest of the nation has some catching up to do. If you’re interested learning more about how ignition interlock devices or interlock cups can help prevent drunk driving, contact Quickstart today.