COURTESY: Randi Ayala (KARD)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is one alcohol-related traffic death every fifty minutes in the United States. 

Value Penguin Junior Research Analyst Joe Resendiz says drunk driving is still a prevalent issue in our society. 

“We knew that drunk driving is a problem in America and we wanted to study if DUI related fatalities

varied from state to state and we found some pretty shocking conclusions,” say Resendiz.

Those shocking results put Louisiana at the number nine spot for deadly car wrecks involving drunk drivers, falling right behind Texas and ahead of Oklahoma. 

Value Penguin is an independent consumer research company that conducted this study by looking at fatal DUI car accidents state by state. They took figures from the NHTSA’s data on DUI related accidents, which they define as a driver having a blood alcohol content level of .08, the legal limit, or higher and compared it against the state’s population. Louisiana has five DUI deaths per 100,000 residents.  

Resendiz believes current legislation might be the reason why.

“Louisiana and Oklahoma have very distinct DUI-related laws and they both rank as some of the deadliest,” says Resendiz.

Thirty percent of all traffic fatalities in Louisiana involved alcohol-impaired drivers and almost seventy percent all DUI fatalities involved drivers whose blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit.

Trooper Michael Reichardt with Louisiana State Police believes it’s up to the people who get behind to wheel to help bring those numbers down.  

“That’s what we’re trying to stop those fatal crashes. That’s a huge step that citizens need to take is to make sure they have a plan and not drink and drive. It’s unfortunate that we work crashes all the time where an impaired driver either kills their self or somebody else and that’s what we’re trying to stop but it takes your help to not just ours,” says Reichardt.