October 2017

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Alaska – one of the top DUI states


Alaska has found itself twentieth on a list of the worst states for drunk driving, according to data analyzed by backgroundchecks.org and released in March 2017. Who would guess? Alaska is one of the top DUI States!!

The Last Frontier had a DUI death rate (per 100,000) of 3.10 and 3,163 DUI arrests. First on the list was Wyoming, followed by:

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Montana
  • South Carolina
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Wisconsin
  • North Carolina
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee

“To create a ranking of states, we took a combination of deaths directly attributable to DUIs, DUI arrests per 100,000 people, and drinking too much before driving, as reported by drivers themselves,” backgroundchecks.org said in its release of the data. “We then created a weighted formula.”

The original data used to create the weighted formula came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. BackgroundChecks.org focuses on public safety, online privacy, home security and open government, and it regularly gathers new data and research on issues affecting public welfare.

Take Note: If you have lost your license and need to work on driver’s license restoration, browse through the attorney directories on www.Drunkdrivingattorneys.com or www.DriversLicenseRestorers.com. Pick an attorney experienced and knowledgeable in the driver’s license appeal (restoration) process in your state. If you need to get treatment to help make a case for restoring your license, there are treatment center directories on both sites. If you need information about points on your driving record, check your state department of motor vehicles. In Alaska, go here. Helping yourself is always the first step in having your DUI attorney help you. 

A factor in Alaska making the backgroundchecks.org list very well could be the state’s lack of resources to monitor and enforce driving and DUI laws.

Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, has been struggling with police shortages for quite some time. An article published in 2014 and updated in 2016 highlighted issues with staffing levels.

“The police department is trying to increase its numbers after losing 38 officers last year, which resulted in the lowest number of officers working the streets and cases in Alaska’s largest city since July 2005,” the article said. “Many of the officers opted to retire in order to keep benefits only available if they left before Jan. 1, 2014.”

“Departments are struggling to find not only interested, but interested and qualified, candidates to join the force,” Jim Burch, vice president of the Police Foundation, said in a recent NBC News report. “With everything happening around policing from salary to criticism, the question many people are asking is ‘is it worth it?’”

Information on Alaska’s DUI laws can be found here. And, even more information on DUI laws across the nation can be found here.

Fairbanks and Anchorage, the state’s two main metro areas, are reportedly the worst locations in the state for drinking-related issues, according to an online article in 24/7 Wall St.

At the time of the report, at 22.9 percent and 23 percent respectively, both metro areas had even higher excessive drinking rates than the state, where more than one in five adults identify as excessive drinkers. The percentage of alcohol-related driving deaths in Fairbanks was 36.7.

“The fact that over 10,000 people a year die from DUI-related accidents is a travesty,” Trent Wilson, co-author of the backgroundchecks.org research, was quoted as saying. In addition to those killed, some 200,000 sustain injuries as a direct result of someone driving under the influence, the organization notes.

“We hope this research will open some eyes and make people think twice before drinking and driving,” Wilson said.

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