Dry Counties Have Many More Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities than Wet Counties

Over the past five years, completely dry counties in Texas had over three  and one-half times the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities per capita than completely wet counties.  Dry counties averaged 6.8 alcohol-related traffic deaths per 10,000 people, whereas wet counties had 1.9 deaths per 10,000 people. This, according to data from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This is consistent with earlier research elsewhere. For example, a study of about 39,000 alcohol-related traffic accidents in wet compared to dry counties in Kentucky found that a higher proportion of dry counties' residents are involved in such crashes.

It appears that residents of dry counties have to drive farther from their homes to consume alcohol, thus increasing impaired driving exposure.



  • Alam, Hina. Statistics show alcohol-related deaths don’t play favorites with wet/dry issue. Lufkin Daily News, October 29, 2006.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving

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