Ranking the Worst NY Counties for Drunk Driving

Ranking the Worst NY Counties for Drunk Driving

Counties Where New Yorkers Have the Highest Risk of Being Killed by a Drunk Driver

Click on a county to see it’s ranking and statistics

How many drunk drivers were on the road with you last night?

The answer might depend on which county you were in.

While DUI accidents happen all across the state of New York, and while there are unquestionably drunk driving deaths in nearly every county, some parts of our state have a bigger problem than others — even when adjusted for population.

Below, we examine state-specific data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to identify the New York counties where drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are at greatest risk of being killed by a drunk driver.

Total Number of Fatal DUI Accidents by County in New York

In 2015, the New York Times began to investigate a “Tide of D.W.I. crashes on Long Island.” The paper reported, accurately, that “every year since at least 2001 [Suffolk County] has recorded more crashes involving alcohol than any other county in New York. Also: More people have died in alcohol-related crashes in Suffolk during that time than anywhere else in the state.”

The Times further reported that nearby Nassau County took second place in both categories most years, “helping to give Long Island a reputation as the drunken-driving capital of New York.”

Unsurprisingly, our own review of the NHTSA data shows the same thing… at least in terms of the total number of DUI deaths, unadjusted for the population from 2012-2016.

By that metric, the ten NY counties with the highest raw total of fatal DUI accidents are as follows:



The counties with the most DUI fatalities 2012-2016 is similar to the counties with the most accident fatalities overall. Suffolk, Nassau, and Queens appear as the top three and in the same rank for both.


Fatal DUI Accidents Per Capita, by County, in New York

The rankings change considerably, however, when we look at the death totals per capita. After all, one might naturally expect a county like Suffolk, which has a very large population, to also see a large total number of DUI accidents and fatalities.

Only Oswego County appears in the Top Ten for both Counties with Most Fatal DUI Accidents and Fatal DUI Accidents Per 10k Residents. Neither Suffolk nor Nassau county rank among the ten NY counties with the highest percentage of fatal DUI accidents (though, undoubtedly, the risk in Long Island remains substantial).


How Often Is Alcohol Involved in Each County’s Traffic Fatalities?

Another way to look at the NHTSA DUI data for New York is to look at the total number of fatal auto accidents in each county and then ask how many of those fatal crashes involved alcohol.

In that analysis, Lewis County still earns the worst score in the state. Jefferson, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Seneca, and Yates Counties also turn up again:



Interesting NY Fatal DUI Accident Statistics

  • Oswego County is the only county in New York to appear in the top ten for the total number of fatal DUIs, % of fatal DUI accidents, and the number of fatal DUI accidents per 10k residents.
  • Orleans County had zero fatal DUI accidents from 2012-2016
  • After Orleans (0.00), New York(.017), Kings(.031), and Bronx(0.036) counties had the smallest number of fatal DUI accidents per 10k residents.
  • In total, New York had 5,226 fatal accidents from 2012-2016. 1,121 of the fatal accidents were alcohol-related or 21.45%
  • 38 of 62 NY counties had a higher fatal DUI % than the state average.
  • Lewis County had more Fatal DUI accidents (13) than Non-DUI Fatal Accidents (10)

Talk to a New York DUI Accident Lawyer at Siler & Ingber, LLP

These statistics only tell a part of the story — a story that is far more tragic than it ought to be, in light of the fact that every drunk driving fatality represents a preventable death.

Far too many people have lost their lives at the hands of drunk drivers in Long Island and throughout the state of New York. If you or your loved one has been injured or killed in a DUI accident, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Please contact an experienced Long Island DUI Accident lawyer at Siler & Ingber, LLP right away.

Call 516-294-2666 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.

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