Top 20 Cities with the Most Drunken Drivers

By Colin Bird  on September 28, 2010

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/46/-826344115-1425510127746. In 2008, 11,773 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To prevent or curtail drunken-driving fatalities, nearly 1.43 million drivers were arrested in 2007 on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Insurance.com recently released a study ranking the top 20 cities with the most DUI offenders. The study tallies requested insurance quotes and calculates the percentage of people who reported at least one DUI violation. Cities with poor public transportation and strong DUI enforcement ended up toward the top of the list, the study shows.

The worst offender is San Diego, which has a pretty poor public transportation system and a very aggressive police department as it pertains to DUI arrests. San Diego has a sergeant and five specialized officers who spend 40 hours a week just stopping and arresting DUI offenders, according to Insurance.com. City officers are trained to watch traffic and search for even slight driver’s errors, such as stopping too long at an intersection.

San Jose, Calif., which ranks No. 2 on the list, says it’s so aggressive at convicting DUI offenders that the city may be going “overboard,” as the county is straining from the costs associated with jailing drunken drivers, according to Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss.

So the list might not necessarily shed light on the cities with the most drunken-driving occurrences, but rather the cities that enforce and convict the most offenders. For all we know, cities that rank low on the list — like Detroit or Baltimore — could have more drivers under the influence, but less enforcement.

The list of the top 20 cities is below.

1.    San Diego, Calif. 
2.    San Jose, Calif. 
3.    Charlotte, N.C. 
4.    Phoenix, Ariz. 
5.    Columbus, Ohio 
6.    Indianapolis, Ind. 
7.    Los Angeles, Calif. 
8.    San Francisco, Calif. 
9.    Austin, Texas 
10.  Jacksonville, Fla. 
11.  San Antonio. Texas 
12.  Dallas, Texas 
13.  Houston, Texas 
14.  Fort Worth, Texas 
15.  Memphis, Tenn. 
16.  Philadelphia, Penn. 
17.  New York, NY 
18.  Baltimore, Mary. 
19.  Chicago, Ill. 
20.  Detroit, Mich.

Safety