The Dangers of Impaired Driving
All fifty states and the District of Columbia have impaired driving statutes, some of which were enacted almost simultaneously with the invention of the motor vehicle. Generally, the impaired driving offense itself consists of the operation, control, or manipulation of a vehicle, in a place accessible to the public, while under the influence of an intoxicant, like alcohol or other drugs, or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at or above a certain statutory limit. Possessing a BAC that exceeds the legally permissible level is considered a criminal offense, regardless of whether the driver’s control over the vehicle is visibly diminished.
Every Year, roughly 40% of fatal crashes involve alcohol. Not surprisingly, 33% of those fatal accidents involved a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, beyond the legal limit in many states. Ultimately, approximately 17,000 people die in accidents involving alcohol, which averages out to 1 death every 31 minutes in the United States. In addition, a person can be impaired by drugs other than alcohol, like marijuana or cocaine. Accidents involving theses drugs roughly contribute to 20% of motor vehicle driver deaths. Often times, these other drugs are used in tandem with alcohol, creating a very deadly combination while on the road. Due to the gravity of the situation, law enforcement agencies have taken a far more aggressive stance on drunk driving. Legislators have also responded to the bleak picture painted by yearly statistics with harsher penalties and stricter laws to cut down on the number of deaths caused by alcohol and drug related traffic accidents.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1.5 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics every year. This averages out to an arrest for 1 in every 139 licensed drivers in the United States. In addition to the severe penalties that these drivers face upon conviction, these drivers are also civilly liable for the injuries to property and person that they cause by their irresponsible behavior.
If you have recently been involved in an accident and suffered an injury, or if someone close to you has been injured or killed in an accident by someone under the influence of alcohol, you may have the legal right to obtain compensation. Drunk driving related personal injury cases are usually quite complex. A qualified legal team of Dover Law Firm is ready to help, call now at 770-518-1133.