How Do The 5 Heaviest Drinking US States Rank In Terms Of...

How Do The 5 Heaviest Drinking US States Rank In Terms Of DUI Arrests?


As a Nation the United States imbibes a lot of alcohol. A quick look at the state with the highest alcohol consumption per person, New Hampshire, is estimated at over 40 gallons per person, per year. While that’s a staggering amount of booze and beer to put down, surprisingly New Hampshire isn’t at the top of the list for DUI arrests. How about the other states in the top 5 for heavy drinkers? Where do they rank in terms of annual DUI arrests?

New Hampshire-

New Hampshire owes a lot of it’s alcohol sales to the fact that there aren’t any taxes, which makes it a great stop for people passing through the New England area. In terms of DUI arrests, New Hampshire ranks fairly low at 4,571 in 2013.


In terms of alcohol consumed annually, the state of Nevada ranks in at the second highest of nation for consumption per capita. Las Vegas accounts by and large for a lot of this, however, there are still a good number of people drinking outside the City of Sin. As DUI arrests go, Nevada racked in 14,445 for 2013

District of Columbia (D.C)-

While D.C isn’t technically considered a state, the nation’s capital still takes third place for alcohol consumed per capita annually. This is due to D.C’s love of wine. Despite being ranked third for consumption, only 32 DUI arrests are reported for 2013


According to the State Justice Department Montana accrued only 4,240 DUI arrests last year, despite being the worst state in terms of underage drinking. Montana more than likely owes it’s low DUI arrest record to the fact that it has one of the lower populations among the states.


While Wisconsin is fifth in terms of alcohol consumed per year, it ranks the highest among the top 5 heavy drinking states in terms of DUI arrests. In 2013 Wisconsin arrested 40,549 drivers for being over the limit.

So what are the worst states for DUI arrests?

Despite the amount they drink, the top five states for alcohol consumption aren’t the top five DUI arrests (although Wisconsin is cutting it close). The top five worst states for drunk driving arrests in 2013 are as follows.

  • California- 214,828
  • Texas- 90,066
  • Florida- 61,852
  • Pennsylvania- 53,319
  • North Carolina- 53,319

There are several different factors that can contribute to the variance in terms of what’s consumed vs what people are being arrested for. Population, understandably, counts for a lot of it. Other factors such as DUI laws and checkpoints can also go a long ways in terms of the number of people arrested per year. The important thing to remember through all of this, is you have an option to not become part of that statistic.

In almost every circumstance, you make the choice as to whether or not to drink and drive. If you drink, find a ride, call a cab, or use a designated driver. While DUI arrests are at an all time low (down almost 23% over the past 10 years) it can always be lower still. Make the right choice and don’t be a part of the statistics.

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs aboutMaryland DUI law on the Alpert Schreyer blog and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.