Alcohol Related Fatal Crashes in Wyoming: County Level Data

After analyzing fatal crashes in the United States over a 20 year period, we found that Fremont County had the highest percentage of fatal crashes that were alcohol-related.   To add context to this, we dove deeper.

In Fremont County, 47 percent of all fatal crashes involved alcohol during the study period, the highest percentage of any county in the US.

In the table below, we break it down further by buzzed and drunk and compare all counties in Wyoming.

CountyPCT BAC >0.01PCT BAC >=0.08
Fremont51%39%
Sublette51%37%
Sheridan43%33%
Crook49%33%
Big Horn46%32%
Park46%31%
Weston57%28%
Goshen45%27%
Campbell38%26%
Natrona41%24%
Converse41%24%
Teton41%23%
Hot Springs41%22%
Uinta35%21%
Laramie36%20%
Lincoln27%19%
Sweetwater33%19%
Johnson31%18%
Washakie28%16%
Platte32%15%
Albany28%15%
Carbon31%14%
Niobrara29%8%

Why is it so high in Fremont County?  While there are likely several factors involved, we found two possible explanations.  The first is that drivers fatal crashes in Fremont County had the highest average BAC of any county in Wyoming.

CountyMean BAC of drivers with
any alcohol in their system
Mean BAC of drunk drivers
Fremont0.1750.215
Lincoln0.1620.209
Sublette0.1560.202
Sheridan0.1520.189
Campbell0.1460.199
Crook0.1410.198
Washakie0.1400.218
Park0.1360.183
Goshen0.1310.201
Natrona0.1270.193
Sweetwater0.1260.192
Laramie0.1260.194
Converse0.1260.190
Big Horn0.1250.167
Uinta0.1230.184
Albany0.1220.204
Johnson0.1160.176
Platte0.1160.199
Teton0.1080.175
Weston0.1070.185
Carbon0.0980.191
Hot Springs0.0890.135
Niobrara0.0850.206

The second is potentially more contentious. Fremont County is home to tribal gambling and has the state’s only hotel and casinos.  Many studies have found a connection between an increase in fatal crashes and the presence of casinos, including one from the Journal of Health Economics that found an increase of 9.2 percent on average.

We plotted all fatal crashes along with the three casinos to visualize the potential relationships. Red dots indicate a crash involving at least one driver with a BAC over .08, orange indicates a driver with a BAC between .01 and .07 and grey dots indicate crashes where neither driver had alcohol in their system.

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