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[Research] Who Is Most Likely to Look for a DUI or DWI Attorney?

Police officer holding breathalyzer device

To reach your target clientele most effectively, you first need to understand who they are and the steps they take when searching for a DUI or DWI attorney.

To assist you in your research, we have gathered public data from various government agencies, as well as some of our own prioritary data here at Scorpion. The data reveals what the types of individuals are most likely to need DUI or DWI defense, as well as how they are looking for legal help today.

Who is most likely to be arrested for DUI or DWI?

Men or women?

In 2018, men were arrested almost three times as frequently as women for DUIs, and they converted nearly twice as frequently as women on Google search ads. (which means, they took a desired action such as contacting the firm featured in the ad).

Pie chart showing DUI arrests by gender based on FBI data: Male (74.4%), Female (25.6%)Pie chart showing DUI PPC Ads Leads by Gender: Male (64.1%), Female (35.9%)

However, this trend is changing, albeit very slowly.

Younger or older drivers?

Over half (52.9%) of DUI arrests in 2018 were young adults between the ages of 18-34. It’s no surprise, given that the CDC found that this age group was the most likely to binge drink. Our advertising data aligns pretty closely with this trend.

Pie chart showing DUI arrests by age group based on FBI data. Ages 18-24 (19.8%), 25-34 (33.1%), 35-44 (20.8%), 45-54 (14.4%), 55-64 (8.7%), 65+ (2.6%)Pie chart showing DUI ads leads by age group: 18-24 (13.9%), 25-34 (29.2%), 35-44 (20.9%), 45-54 (18.3%), 55-64 (10.2%), 65+ (7.5%)

On top of that, those under the age of 35 were the most likely to convert into a lead after clicking on a search ad on Google.

Bar chart showing DUI ad conversion rates by age with a downward trend as age increases (ages 25-34 the highest)

Now that you know who is most in need of DUI or DWI defense, the next question is...

How are these people searching online for a DUI/DWI attorney?

Considering the age bracket of the average person arrested for DUI/DWI, most defense attorneys understand the importance of being visible and accessible online. After all, nearly all Millennials in the US (people ages 24 to 39 in 2020) use the Internet, 93% own smartphones, and 86% are on social media, according to data from Pew Research Center. And Generation Z (people ages 23 and under in 2020) are known for being “the most web-savvy, and app-friendly generation.”

But even if you’re looking beyond Millennials and Gen Zers, a digital presence is still important for reaching potential clientele all across the board, as Internet usage has grown significantly over the past couple of decades for Americans all ages.

Pew Research Center charts showing generational trends for smartphone ownership, tablet ownership, and social media usage

Therefore, the question is not whether your prospective clients are looking for your legal services on the Internet, but rather how they’re doing their online research. The following data will help provide some clarity.

Here’s what our research shows about how people are searching for DUI/DWI attorneys today...

They’re looking for affordability

According to our internal data, based on average monthly searches, the following search terms and their variations consistently topped the charts for search volume:

  • “dui lawyer cost”

  • “average dui cost”

  • “cheap dui lawyers”

  • “affordable dui lawyers near me”

  • “a single dwi conviction can cost up to”

DUI convictions have the potential to be very pricey. Esurance estimates that a first-time DUI conviction in California costs around $8,966, of which more than a quarter is spent on DUI attorney fees. This number can vary wildly based on a variety of factors, such as whether or not the defendant takes a plea deal or goes to court, and it’s not unheard of to hear about costs as high as $15,000.

The point is that DUI convictions have the potential to be quite expensive, so it’s no wonder that cost is near the top of people’s minds.Pie chart showing conservative estimates of first-time DUI convictions (Source: Esurance)

They’re looking for their best shot at reducing or dismissing the DUI

The statewide DUI conviction rate in California in 2014 was 72.7%, with rates ranging from 45.4% in Kings County to as high as 85.6% in Orange County. Thus, those looking for a DUI defense attorney probably want someone that can give them their best shot at reducing or possibly outright dismissing their DUI. As a result, they’re using search terms such as:

  • “best dui attorney”

  • “top dui lawyers near me”

Using data to guide your firm’s marketing strategies

While client demographic data and search trend data vary from firm to firm and market to market, it’s helpful to understand the trends that DUI defense firms are seeing across the nation. This can provide greater insight into the best audiences to target in your firm’s legal marketing efforts, as well as the best methods for effectively reaching and appealing to these audiences—i.e., the best keywords to use in paid search campaigns, the platforms your target clientele are most likely to use based on their age group, the types of messaging they’re most likely to respond to, etc.

By better understanding your target clientele, you can create more powerful marketing that reaches the right potential clients in the right places online at the right times, and as a result, you could attract more business for your firm.

To learn more about how to improve your marketing and grow your firm in 2020, talk to a member of our criminal defense marketing team.