Dry counties (counties where the sale of alcohol is banned) have a drunk driving fatality rate about 3.6 times higher than wet counties.

Dry county

A study in Kentucky suggested that residents of dry counties have to drive farther from their homes to consume alcohol, thus increasing impaired driving exposure, although it found that a similar proportion of crashes in wet and dry counties are alcohol-related.

Other researchers have pointed to the same phenomenon. Winn and Giacopassi observed that residents of wet counties most likely have “shorter distances (to travel) between home and drinking establishments.” From their study, Schulte and colleagues postulate that “it may be counter productive in that individuals are driving farther under the influence of alcohol, thus, increasing their exposure to crashes in dry counties.”

Data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

5 thoughts on “Dry counties (counties where the sale of alcohol is banned) have a drunk driving fatality rate about 3.6 times higher than wet counties.”

  1. Cliff_Doctor

    I used to go on climbing trips to northern Arkansas in a dry county. You had to drive only 20 or so minutes down some of the most crooked dangerous roads I had ever been on to get to a liquor store in a not dry county. I always wonder how many people died making that beer run with a buzz.

  2. HalusN8er

    I now live in Tennessee. When I moved here was the first time I had ever heard of “dry counties.” Then I found out that Jack Daniels whiskey is made in Lynchburg, TN which is in Moore county, which is a dry county. So, you cannot buy Jack Daniels where it is made. So silly.

  3. TheKodachromeMethod

    I always wonder about what the specific laws are. In all of those Michigan counties, for example, you can buy beer and wine just about anywhere (Target, drug stores, gas stations) and booze at most grocery stores.

  4. A40

    Well yeah.. they have to drive out of county to get a drink. And then drive home.

    Oh, and they have to *hide* their drinking – it’s “immoral” at home.

    So many healthy habits.

  5. EmmaLouLove

    If only we had a point in history that would prove how ridiculous it is to criminalize alcohol consumption.

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