FARGO — While most drivers stuck to the road throughout Wednesday, March 3, the numbers look grim when it comes to people getting behind the wheel drunk.
A study by Insurify.com shows North Dakota at the top, with nearly 5% of drivers having a driving under the influence citation on their record.
Minnesota is ranked 5th, with just under 4 percent of drivers having that citation.
"I think when we're looking at numbers like that, that kind of hurts North Dakota," said Sgt. Wade Kadrmas with the North Dakota Highway Patrol. "In general, that makes us look bad."
Kadrmas said the state pulled over more than 4,000 drunk drivers last year, and had just under 100 fatal crashes.
In those fatal crashes, alcohol was a factor in under half of them.
"It's something that law enforcement works hard at, is taking those drivers off the road," Kadrmas said.
Drunk drivers aren't just a statewide issue, as the numbers are showing city police departments are busy with impaired drivers.
According to dispatch logs, Fargo officers were called to over 350 instances of impaired drivers within the past six months, with Moorhead police going to nearly 100 calls, and West Fargo officers dealing with nearly 70 calls.
Last year, Grand Forks police issued over 200 DUI citations, according to Lt. Derik Zimmel.
Officers said while this doesn't necessarily show a rising trend, it means the problem of drunk driving is still sticking around.
"The pandemic's shut down a lot of things, and didn't really give a lot of options," said Capt. Deric Swenson with the Moorhead Police Department. "A lot of it had to do with (people asking themselves), 'What can I do at home, what's entertaining?'"
North Dakota troopers are hoping to turn the tide with its new "ND Sober Ride" campaign, which allows drivers to use the code "NDSoberRide" on the ride-sharing app Lyft to get $10 off a ride.
With that incentive in mind, Kadrmas is also hoping this leads to more drivers making better choices.
"The last thing a law enforcement officer really wants to do is go and arrest somebody for a DUI," he said.