From Drunk Driving to Blocked Driveways: An Analysis of Driving Related Crimes in Sacramento
A 2019 study ranked Sacramento as the fifth-worst city in America when it came to its drivers, but are we really that bad here? If so, where?
In 2020, the Sacramento Police Department received 6,168 calls in driver-related crimes, including hit-and-run accidents, drunk driving, reckless driving, and driveway blocking. Out of those:
- 1,839 calls were for hit and runs
- 793 calls were for drunk drivers
- 2,601 calls were for reckless driving
- 935 calls were for vehicles blocking driveways
Which neighborhoods in Sacramento ranked the highest in these driver-related crimes? We dug into the data to find out.
Sacramento Driver-Related Crime Reports by Neighborhood
|1||Valley Hi / North Laguna||430|
|3||Old North Sacramento||249|
|6||East Del Paso Heights||169|
|7||Midtown / Winn Park / Capital Avenue||159|
|9||Del Paso Heights||136|
|11||South Oak Park||132|
|16||Central Oak Park||114|
|18||RP – Sports Complex||102|
|19||North Oak Park||83|
|23||South Land Park||71|
Hit and Run Reports
In 2020, the Sacramento Police Department received a total of 1,839 hit and run reports – 30 percent of all driver-related crimes in Sacramento. This includes both felony and misdemeanor hit and run accidents. If a hit and run accident causes an injury, requiring medical aid, or a death, it will be charged as a felony. If it damages property under a certain amount, it is a misdemeanor.
Out of the hit and runs reported, a little over a fourth (473) resulted in injuries. The majority (62 percent) of the reports were misdemeanor hit and run report referrals – used for statistical purposes, general tracking, and providing information to city traffic engineers.
Valley Hi/North Laguna had the most hit and run reports (164) of Sacramento – making up 38 percent of all calls in that area. Interestingly, neighborhoods that are known for overall higher rates of crime in Sacramento also had high reports of hit and run accidents: South Hagginwood (55), Midtown (45), Old North Sacramento (60), Gardenland (42), and Downtown Sacramento (38), to name a few. Yet, South Natomas (88), one of the safest neighborhoods in Sacramento, ranked as number 3 and made up 43 percent of calls in that area.
Sacramento Hit and Run Reports by Neighborhood
|Rank||Neighborhood||Hit and Run||Percent of All Calls|
|1||Valley Hi / North Laguna||164||38%|
|5||Old North Sacramento||60||24%|
|8||Midtown / Winn Park / Capital Avenue||45||28%|
|12||South Oak Park||35||27%|
|16||Central Oak Park||27||24%|
|19||East Del Paso Heights||26||15%|
|20||Del Paso Heights||24||18%|
|22||South Land Park||23||32%|
|23||Southern Pacific / Richards||23||48%|
|24||North Oak Park||21||25%|
Where Are Drunk Drivers Reported Most Often in Sacramento?
When it comes to drunk driving, we’d expect a higher number of reports in Downtown Sacramento or other areas with bars, nightlife, and more reckless abandon. But while Downtown Sacramento ranked in the top ten, to our surprise, it didn’t turn out to be the neighborhood with the most drunk driver reports.
The Sacramento Police Department received 793 reports of drunk driving in 2020, a little over 10 percent of all driver-related crimes. Valley Hi/North Laguna, which already ranked number one in hit and run reports, also turned out to have the most drunk driving reports (45) of all the Sacramento neighborhoods. East Sacramento (36) and Midtown (30), both known for their late-night scenes, came in next. Downtown Sacramento had 29 drunk driving incidents reported, making up 24 percent of all calls in the neighborhood. Surprisingly, South Natomas (31) – known for its safe environment, parks, and green spaces – ranked number four.
Sacramento Drunk Driver Reports by Neighborhood
|Rank||Neighborhood||Drunk Driver||Percent of All Calls|
|1||Valley Hi / North Laguna||45||10%|
|5||Midtown / Winn Park / Capital Avenue||30||19%|
|8||Old North Sacramento||18||7%|
|12||South Land Park||14||20%|
|14||Central Oak Park||13||11%|
|18||East Del Paso Heights||11||7%|
|19||North City Farms||11||22%|
Reckless driving made up 42 percent of all driver-related-crimes in Sacramento – or 2,601 reports. In California, reckless driving is legally defined as driving “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving, such as driving 15 mph over the speed limit or neglecting traffic lights, brings a dangerous element to an already unpredictable environment. Most of the time, it’s hard to miss.
Sacramento Reckless Driver Reports by Neighborhood
|Rank||Neighborhood||Reckless Driver||Percent of All Calls|
|2||Valley Hi / North Laguna||190||44%|
|3||Old North Sacramento||120||48%|
|4||East Del Paso Heights||116||69%|
|6||Del Paso Heights||88||65%|
|7||RP – Sports Complex||79||77%|
|18||South Oak Park||40||30%|
|22||Central Oak Park||32||28%|
|23||West Del Paso Heights||29||54%|
|24||North Oak Park||28||34%|
|25||South Land Park||28||39%|
Vehicles Blocking Driveways
Have you ever found yourself rushing to your car, only to find that you have no way out of your driveway? Someone is blocking your driveway with his or her vehicle – completely disregarding your property and the law. We understand what a pain that can be, and wanted to find out where it happened the most. In Sacramento, 935 people called the police to report this in 2020.
Blocked Driveways in Sacramento by Neighborhood
|Rank||Neighborhood||Blocking Driveway||Percent of All Calls|
|1||Midtown / Winn Park / Capital Avenue||65||41%|
|2||South Oak Park||54||41%|
|3||Old North Sacramento||51||20%|
|4||Central Oak Park||42||37%|
|7||Valley Hi / North Laguna||31||7%|
|10||North Oak Park||28||34%|
|14||Del Paso Heights||21||15%|
|19||East Del Paso Heights||16||9%|
|21||North City Farms||16||32%|
|25||South City Farms||15||75%|
Data Sources and Takeaways
Driving in Sacramento’s busiest areas can be taxing, but remember to obey the rules of the road and to consider other drivers’ safety. This data shows that our choices on the road impact others every day, in small and significant ways. While driving, focus on controlling what you can control:
- Drive the speed limit.
- Leave early, so you don’t feel anxious or rushed.
- If you are intoxicated, choose not to drive. Call an Uber, Lyft, or a friend.
- Park legally. Do not park your vehicle in someone else’s driveway to save time; it’s a hassle for the other person and for you when you get ticketed.
- If you get into an accident, resist the urge to run; hit and runs are a crime. Have the courage to face what happened, instead of having the police find out you were involved later.
This data includes all calls for service received by the Sacramento Police Department in 2020, related to driving behavior. If you are interested in republishing the data, interactive elements, or images included above, please provide credit by linking to this page.