Without question, drinking and driving is a huge problem in the United States and indeed in Virginia. Every day across the country about 36 people die and another 700 are injured in motor vehicle accidents that involve an intoxicated driver.
Alcohol-impaired drivers don’t just hurt and kill innocent motorists, they also take a massive economic toll. Some experts estimate that these crashes cost the country over $51 billion each year, and about one-third of all fatal traffic accident deaths in the U.S. happen in an alcohol-related driving crash.
Who is driving drunk?
Statistics allow authorities to uncover the types of drivers at risk for driving under the influence.
- Men: Male drivers are far more likely than female drivers to be killed in an alcohol-related accident. In fact, men are nearly twice as likely as women to be killed in a crash with a BAC equal to or over 0.08 percent (the legal limit in Virginia).
- Young drivers: Young drivers have a greater risk of being in an accident than any other age group, regardless of the level of intoxication. Young male drivers have reported driving while intoxicated more than any other age group, and 19 percent of drivers under the age of 20 killed in traffic crashes had been drinking.
- Motorcyclists: 30 percent of motorcycle riders killed in a fatal crash have a BAC of or over 0.08, and half of intoxicated motorcyclists killed each year are 40 or over – so in this case youth is not the only factor.
- Repeat offenders: A driver who has driven intoxicated once is more likely to drive intoxicated again. Drivers involved in a fatal crash with a BAC of or over 0.08 were 8 times more likely to have a prior DUI conviction than drivers who had not consumed alcohol.
How to prevent DUI deaths and injuries
Some measures to prevent alcohol-related motor vehicle accident deaths and injuries include:
- Zero tolerance laws – and aggressive enforcement of the laws – for drivers under the age of 21.
- Aggressive enforcement of the 0.08 BAC limit, and strict enforcement of minimum legal drinking age laws.
- Educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving; use community-based approaches to reach school children, parents, and at-risk drivers.
- Use sobriety checkpoints to catch drunken drivers before they cause a serious accident.
- Revoke the driver’s licenses of individuals caught drinking and driving.
- Require mandatory substance abuse counseling and assessment for drivers caught drinking and driving.
Need help after a serious motorcycle accident? Regardless of the cause, the lawyers Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas can help you. Please contact one of their Northern Virginia offices to discuss your case for no cost or obligation with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney.
DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP
98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11
Warrenton, VA 20186
Toll Free: 888.907.2631
209 N. West Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
Toll Free: 800.741.1012