California Cities With the Most DUI Fatalities

A Look at DUI Deaths Per Capita in the State


In 2019, auto insurance company Value Penguin ranked The Worst Large Cities in California For Fatal DUIs. Many that topped the list were located in the Inland Empire with “DUI fatality rates more than double the statewide average.”

According to the list, the large city with the most DUI deaths per 100,000 residents was Hesperia located in San Bernardino County. Value Penguin’s in-depth analysis found that their drunk driving fatality rate was over 200% higher compared to the statewide average for a similarly sized city. Hemet, located in neighboring Riverside County, ranked second on the list with 5.09 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents. 

Cities ranked in order of DUI deaths per 100,000 residents:

  1. Hesperia
  2. Hemet
  3. Bakersfield
  4. San Bernardino
  5. Paramount
  6. Lancaster
  7. Sacramento
  8. Pittsburg
  9. Pomona
  10. Riverside

Despite being ranked as having the highest DUI fatality rate, Hesperia was also the 3rd most improved large city in California for fatal DUIs. Their research concluded that between 2012 and 2014 the DUI fatality rate for the city was 8.50, by 2015 – 2017 it had dropped to 5.18. Other notable improved cities include Colton, Merced, and Burbank.

Value Penguin also ranked cities by size based on where you’d be most likely to be involved in a fatal DUI. The three top medium-sized cities (20K – 50K) include Barstow, Desert Hot Springs, and San Pablo. The three top small-sized cities (10K – 20K) include Los Alamitos, Solana Beach, and Lathrop.

Read the full Value Penguin breakdown.

DUIs are taken very seriously in California. Laws are only becoming stricter for first offense drunk driving convictions. It is important to seek alcohol treatment if you are unable to stop drinking or have had more than one drunk driving arrest.