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Holiday Drunk Driving Facts & Figures
Drunk driving occurs when an individual consumes alcohol, compromising their decision-making abilities and reflexes, and decides to get behind the wheel of a vehicle or machinery. Impairment may also be caused by using illegal substances. In the United States, the offense is categorized as either driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). The legal limit of alcohol consumption, also known as blood alcohol content level, varies by each state. For those individuals 21 and over in the State of Alabama, the blood alcohol limit must not be over 0.08%. For underage drivers, the amount differs between each state. A DUI or DWI charge can be handed down to an individual involved in a drunk driving accident, pulled over in a traffic stop or is just simply spotted by an officer on patrol.
Drunk Driving Facts and Figures
The Alabama Department of Transportation has implemented the Crash Facts study in order to track numbers related to drunk driving and accidents that resulted because of a drunk driver. The study found that drunk drivers were responsible for approximately 50 percent of all fatal car crashes. Those who are involved in drunk driving accidents are often repeat offenders. In 2017, Crash Facts broke down DUI crashes by age group:
- Ages 20 to 29: 29.99% or 1,641 crashes
- Ages 30 to 39: 24.82% or 1,358 crashes
- Ages 40 to 49: 16.76% or 917 crashes
- Ages 50 to 59: 14.42% or 789 crashes
- Ages 60 to 69: 6.05% or 331 crashes
- Other Ages: 3.56% or 195 crashes
Drunk Driving and the Holidays
The holiday season normally brings with it the highest reported incidences of drunk driving and drunk driving-related car crashes and fatalities. Over the last five years in the United States, an average of 300 people lost their lives due to a drunk driving accident. This normally occurred between Christmas and New Year’s Day. While the number of drunk driving-related fatalities has been on the decline since 1982, state and federal law makers are committed to eliminating drunk driving and drunk driving-related deaths altogether.
Were You Hurt by a Drunk Driver?
Anyone who is affected by a drunk driver can suffer extensive bodily harm. In some cases, the injuries, physical and emotional, can affect a person for the rest of their life. If you or a loved one are the victim of a drunk driving accident, you have the right to contact an attorney who specializes in drunk driving cases. An attorney can help you:
- Identify your rights as a drunk driving accident victim.
- By informing you of the options available to collect the funds for medical and pain and suffering.
- File paperwork for a lawsuit and collect evidence pertaining to the accident.
- Request and award punitive damages.
- Seek compensation for any physical and emotional issues you may be suffering from due to the drunk driver’s negligence.
What if You Caused a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you were responsible for causing an accident due to impaired driving, then you could face serious charges including a DUI or DWI. Several factors such as the state, your age, accident location and those involved all affect the charges you face. Your blood alcohol level also plays a significant role in the result of your case.
What Can an Attorney Do for You?
It is best to advise with an attorney in the event you were a victim of a drunk driving accident or possibly caused a collision due to impairment. The ways in which an attorney can help with your case include:
- Describing the charges such as DUI or DWI and, in some cases, get the charges reduced or dismissed.
- Assisting in preparation for your court appearance and discussing the appropriate dialogue.
- Trying to help you avoid jail time by obtaining a longer probation sentence.
- Taking a plea deal if one is offered.
- Representing you if you are unable to attend court yourself.