The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that 1.5 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in 2008. This is impressive, and not in a good way, if you consider the huge number of drivers who were never arrested.
In Virginia and throughout the United States, DUI is defined as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. For drivers aged less than 21, the limit is 0.02 percent. In 2009, 10,839 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes, down 7.4 percent from 11,711 in 2008. These alcohol-related fatalities accounted for 32 percent of all crash fatalities. This is the same percentage as in 1995.
DUI by Age
Campaigns to reduce drunk driving have been effective to a certain extent, but particular age groups, especially young drivers, are not very responsive to such attempts. Campaigners are of the opinion that young drivers are probably influenced by their peers, may not have a high sense of responsibility, and lack the experience of witnessing traumatic events.
A 2009 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers was highest among the 21-24 age group (35 percent), followed by 25-34 year olds (32 percent), and 35-44 year olds (26 percent).
DUI by Gender
The NHTSA made a sample-based study to estimate the number of drivers under the influence who are not arrested or involved in crashes. One out of five drivers aged 16 and older admitted to having driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol. Two-thirds of those drivers had done so in the past 30 days. Of all interrogated drivers, 8.2 percent admitted to driving one or more times in the previous year when they thought they were over the legal BAC limit.
The NHTSA also discovered that women are increasingly driving under the influence of alcohol. These findings confirm the FBI statistics pointing to a 30 percent increase in the number of women arrested for DUI over the 10-year period of 1998 to 2007. However, the number of men arrested for DUI still outstrips women by about four to one.
At the same time, over 81 percent of drivers agree that drunk drivers are a threat to their safety.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia car accident, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today. You can discuss your accident case with one of our skilled and dedicated attorneys to see how we can help you secure fair compensation.