DUI Accident in Virginia

Changes in Virginia Drunk Driving Statistics

New numbers have been released for the year 2022 for alcohol and its impact on accidents and vehicle-related deaths in Virginia. While the good news is that numbers have been trending downward in recent years, nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities in 2022 were alcohol-related, with more than 1000 people losing their lives. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an alcohol-related crash, our Virginia law firm can help. We serve clients with empathy and compassion when dealing with even the most traumatic injuries and devastating losses after alcohol-related crashes, and will fight for your rights and the compensation you and your family deserve.

Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes in Virginia

The message seems to be getting through that drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. Society seems to be slowly curbing this behavior, which may be due to increased education and information about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as stricter, lower legally acceptable alcohol limits being implemented across the country. 

Over the last 30 years, alcohol-related deaths in Virginia have declined significantly. For example, in 1996, nearly 40% of accident fatalities were alcohol-related, and in 2022 that figure was down to 27%.

But to each family who has lost a loved one in an alcohol-related accident, those numbers are still too high. The data indicate that on an average day in Virginia, there are 19 accidents, 11 people injured, and one person killed in an alcohol-related crash.

Virginia Blood Alcohol Level and DUI

In Virginia, the “legal limit” or blood alcohol content (BAC) that determines that someone is driving under the influence (DUI) is .08 percent or higher. That limit was lowered to .08 in 1994. Several other states moved to the .08 limit and eventually, by 2022, .08 became the limit in every state across the country. 

However, even if your BAC is under the acceptable limit, if someone witnesses you in a state where you appear to be impaired while driving, you can still be considered under the “influence” of alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause a decline in visual function, impair your judgment, negatively affect your reaction time, reduce your ability to track objects, and impair your ability to steer or handle your vehicle.

It should be noted that because drinking under the age of 21 is against the law, BAC limits are even stricter for drivers under 21, who can be convicted of a DUI with a BAC of .02 to .08 (or higher). 

More than 14,000 people were convicted of DUI in Virginia in 2022, the year with the most recent data recorded. 

Your Rights if You Are Hurt or a Loved One is Killed in a Virginia DUI Accident

Despite the reduction in the number of people who drive after drinking, crashes still happen every day with an impaired driver at fault. This can result in tragic consequences, from the victim being temporarily injured to catastrophic, life-changing injuries and even total loss of life.

If you have lost a loved one due to another driver operating their vehicle while they were impaired, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses. While no amount of money can bring back a loved one, you should consult with an experienced Virginia DUI accident lawyer who can explain the different kinds of costs you can recover (“damages”) in a lawsuit against the responsible driver. These costs can be astronomical and very difficult for families to deal with who have been left behind after the death of a loved one. There are medical bills, costs for a funeral and burial service, compensation for lost wages that would have been expected in years to come, and more. 

Taking time to grieve is important, but know that the state of Virginia does have a two-year statute of limitations for victims (and their families) of drunk driving accidents to file a lawsuit in an attempt to recover damages and seek justice for their loss.

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