Austin’s DUI Dilemma: Where DUI Arrests and Crashes Are Occurring

December 4, 2017

“It won’t happen to me.” It's what everyone says before they get arrested for drunk driving.

Unfortunately, drunk driving is still a large problem in the country and injures or kills thousands of people every year. In 2016 alone, over 10,000 people died from alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Austin, Texas is no exception to these overwhelming numbers. According to a report on, Austin is one of the top 10 cities for drunk driving violations, ranking at number 9. San Diego, California ranks at number 1.

Using the data provided by the Austin Open Data Platform, we were able to compile and map all of the DUI arrests in Austin from 2012-2016.

Our DUI data spans from January 2012 to December 2016. We examined where these arrests were occurring, what days they occurred on, what days they DIDN'T occur on, and where these DUI's resulted in accidents.

This brings the total number of DUI arrests to 30,005 over a five-year span. That's an average of over 16 DUI's per day in Austin. The numbers have decreased since 2013, but the safety of people in our community is still threatened by the high number of drunk drivers on our roads.

The following statistics are the sum of DUI’s that occurred in Austin each month from 2012 through 2016.

August beats out January for month with most DUI's by two. April (2298) and September (2366) are the only two months with less than 2400 DUI arrests for the 5 years period.

Over the span of 5 years, 0.52% (156 of 30,005) of DUI arrests involved minors.

As you can see, there is no “real pattern” to the data other than the fact that minor-related DUI arrests significantly dropped in 2013 and then dropped again in 2016. However, it would be interesting to know why the DUI arrests dropped that year and why 39 arrests were made only 2 years later.

BAC refers to the Blood Alcohol Concentration of a person, or how much alcohol is still in the person’s bloodstream. The BAC can be measured by a blood test or with a breathalyzer, which is a device that measures the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath. After the alcohol is absorbed through the walls of the stomach and small intestine, it passes into the bloodstream.

NHTSA states that in order to measure how much alcohol is in a person’s system, you must know the weight of the alcohol in a specific volume of blood. At a BAC of .08 of higher, the risk of a car crash increases exponentially, which is why it is illegal to drive with a BAC this high.

According to the NHTSA, a BAC of .15 results in “far less muscle control than normal, vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached sow or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol), and a major loss of balance.

Of the drivers in Austin who were arrested 12.22% (3,666) had a BAC of over 0.15.

Since 2012, 85.55% of people (25,669) were arrested for their first DUI. 3,660 people (12.12%) arrested for their second DUI. 676 people (2.25%) were arrested for their third (or more) DUI.

Since 2012, 85.55% of drivers arrested for a DUI were facing their first offense, 12.12% were facing their second DUI offense and 2.25% or 676 people were facing their third or more DUI offense.

Manslaughter refers to the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, which is a lesser offense than murder. 0.12% (36) of DUI arrests resulted in the driver charged with manslaughter.

It's likely no surprise to anyone that a large portion of DUI arrests center around downtown and 6th street. Though there were 5 specific areas that saw over 100 arrests each over the past 5 years.

We assume New Year’s Eve drinking and New Year’s Day celebrations contribute to January 1 being the day of the year with the most DUI's. An average of nearly 33 DUI arrest have occurred on January 1st.

No surprise here, with only two Feb 29th's from 2012 to 2016 there were only 25 DIU arrests on that day.

In a five-year span, over 30,000 DUI arrests were made in Austin. When will drivers stop putting their lives and the lives of others at risk? CPM Injury Law, P.C. knows how stressful car accidents can be, especially when the driver is driving under the influence. Our attorneys’ responsibility is to support and protect you after being injured by a drunk driver. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation so we can help you get back on your feet.

CPM Injury Law, P.C. provides individuals injured through someone else’s negligence personally tailored legal services. Learn about your legal rights and resources below.Call (512) 371-6101 for a free consultation.