The holidays are approaching, which means drinks are sure to be flowing across the country. Whether it's Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's, the next few months will see an uncomfortable spike in drunk driving. It's uncomfortable, but it's equally inevitable.

Drunk driving is such a horrible idea, but no matter the consequences, year after year, people continue to do it, especially around the holidays. According to a Forbes study, "nearly 40% of American drivers say they have witnessed friends or family members who appear intoxicated drive home from a holiday party." More than half of Americans, 54% that is, expressed concern about getting into an accident while driving during the holidays.

As someone who occasionally drives for a rideshare service, seriously call an Uber, Lyft, taxi or friend. The risks against your own life, the lives of others and your bank account and driving record are far too great to risk. It's simple: Do Not Drink and Drive.

That same study from Forbes ranked all 50 states and Washington D.C. based on how much they struggle with drunk drivers by scoring each state with the number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes and how many drunk drivers the state has overall.

While Michigan loves its beer and certainly has cities big enough to contribute negatively to these statistics, the Mitten State just missed the top 10 for the safest cities, ranking 39th overall for worst drunk-driving states.

Michigan is far from perfect, though. After all, the state hands out 343 DUIs for every 100,000 licensed drivers, a fairly high average across the country. While 28% of traffic deaths were caused by a drunk driver is significantly lower than the most deadly states in the study, it's fairly average, in line with southeastern states that were some of the top 20 worst states for drunk driving.

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Michigan made up for its average stats in those areas by having better stats when it comes to fatalities. Only 3.77 drunk drivers were involved in fatal crashes per 100,000 drivers, while only 2.79 people were killed in drunk driving accidents per 100,000 residents. Those numbers don't encroach upon New Jersey, Utah and Delaware's impressive scores as the three safest states, but they are low compared to states within Michigan's rankings.

As for the states near Michigan, Illinois was ranked as the No. 8 safest, Indiana was just one spot below Michigan, and Ohio landed as the 35th worst state overall.

Which Michigan Counties Are Weakest on Drunk Drivers?

Here are all 83 Michigan counties ranked by the percentage of drunk driving convictions they registered in 2020 (the most recent year for which data was available) as compared to the number of DUI arrests that were made in that county that year. The county at #1 is toughest on drunk drivers; the county at #83 is weakest. Data courtesy of

Gallery Credit: jrwitl

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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