Courtesy of Robert Petersen
A 2006 Chrysler 300 that was driven by Aaron Jordon Caudillo is loaded onto a tow truck early last year. The Chrysler slammed into a Buick Regal while going the wrong way on Interstate 80, killing Matthew Azar, 20, Kendra Langham, 18, and Mathew Beardwitt, 18. Caudillo was driving drunk and is now in prison.

Want to avoid drunk drivers? Here's where they get into the most accidents in Sacramento County

September 20, 2016

Is it possible to predict where a drunk driving accident will occur? Not exactly. But they do happen with greater frequency at certain intersections and times in Sacramento County.

The Bee reviewed 4,500 vehicle accidents in Sacramento County between 2013 and 2015 that law enforcement authorities tagged as alcohol-related. The wrecks resulted in about 150 deaths and 3,200 injuries.

A clear trend: Drunk driving accidents are most frequent at or around major freeway crossings.

The most common area for drunk driving accidents was on or near the Capitol City Freeway and I-5 interchange near downtown Sacramento. Thirty-six accidents resulting in 3 deaths and 21 injuries took place there between 2013 and 2015.

The interchanges with the next-highest numbers: Highways 50 and 99 (29 accidents, 2 deaths, 20 injuries), and Interstate 80 and Madison Avenue (25 accidents, 16 injuries, 3 deaths).

Beyond specific interchanges, downtown and midtown Sacramento see the most drunk driving accidents. 

This map shows where alcohol-related accidents occurred most often between 2013 and 2015. Click a square to see more details.

(Click here if using the Bee's mobile app to see graphic.)

Drunk driving most common on weekends, very early in morning

Time of day also plays into the drunk driving equation. In the Sacramento region, DUI-related accidents happen most often on weekends and in the few hours right after midnight, according to data from the California Highway Patrol.

During the last three years, the most common hour of the week for Sacramento drunk driving accidents was Sunday between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. It was followed closely by 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday.

Almost 10 percent of drunk driving accidents in the region happened between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Notes: Due to the way law enforcement logged addresses, a small percentage of alcohol-related accidents could not be mapped.

Source: California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System

Data Tracker is a regular feature that breaks down the numbers behind today’s news. Explore more trends at