Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a huge problem in the United States. 30 people die every day because of this combination, amounting to roughly one death every 48 minutes. Such a large amount of preventable fatalities is tragic enough, but people often forget about another deleterious effect of alcohol-related car accidents-the $51 billion in annual costs to our nation’s citizens. Our lawyers guide clients through the tragic aftermath of these accidents on a daily basis, and we stresshow important it is to plan ahead and make sure you have a designated driver to get you home safely. Taking steps like this doesn’t just prevent you from being injured or arrested, it keeps everyone else safe as well.
Last week, the Chicago area man who killed a Brookfield man and injured an Illinois State Trooper was sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to reports, the fatally injured victim was with the State Trooper in his squad car when the defendant, driving at an estimated 70 miles per hour, struck the vehicle. The defendant had plead guilty earlier this year to a count of aggravated driving under the influence, and court records show that he had a past conviction for a drunk driving accident that occurred in the late 1990s. Defense attorneys noted that the defendant’s company had offered to pay for his cab ride home from a bar he had been at earlier in the night, but that he had refused. (Chicago Tribune)
Statistically speaking, drivers with prior DWI (driving while impaired), or DUI (driving under the influence) convictions are more likely to be involved in an alcohol related accident in the future. Other high-risk cases include motorcyclists, with 28% of individuals killed in fatal accidents having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, and younger drivers, considering the fact that 64% of all individuals involved in fatal crashes being under the age of 35.
If you are out drinking with your friends, and you find that you’ve had too much to drink, get a ride home, and if you are drinking with friends, take measures to ensure that they do the same. Even if you don’t injure or kill another person on the road, if you become one of the 1.4 million individuals arrested for driving under the influence, it will undoubtedly put a dent in your wallet, and make a significant impact on your future. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Take it from a team of lawyers who work with victims of alcohol related accidents frequently, taking a chance and driving home after you think you’ve had too much to drink simply isn’t worth it. If you or someone you know has been injured by a drunk driver, your life will be irrevocably changed as well, and that is why we help clients get the compensation they need to recover from the harms caused to them as a result of negligence.