2020 was a bad year for a lot of people.

It was also one of the deadliest years on record for the number of fatalities on America's roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 38,824 traffic-related deaths across the country in 2020 were the most since 2007. Nearly a third of those fatalities (30%) were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.

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In South Dakota, our numbers are above the national average, as the frequency of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the state between 2019 and 2020 skyrocketed by 75 percent. Nationally, there was a 14% increase in alcohol-related fatalities during that same time frame.

That jump contributed to the Mount Rushmore State moving into the top ten of a 24/7 Wall St. list identifying which states have the highest percentage of deadly drunk driving accidents.


  1. Montana - 45%
  2. Rhode Island - 42%
  3. Connecticut - 40%
  4. Texas - 39%
  5. Maine - 39%
  6. Oregon - 38%
  7. Ohio - 36%
  8. New Hampshire - 36%
  9. Washington - 35%
  10. South Dakota - 35%

The rankings are based on data from the 2020 Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes, which is published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Utah and Mississippi (23%) both have the lowest percentage of drunk driving-related fatalities.

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