Despite the fact that our society has made tremendous progress in recent years to curb the number of drunk driving accidents, this issue continues to represent one of the single most damaging (and preventable) safety epidemics faced by U.S. citizens today. Nearly 30 people die every day in traffic accidents caused by a drunk driver. This equals out to more than 10,000 alcohol related fatalities each year, accounting for approximately 1/3rd of all roadway deaths during this period. Every state in the U.S. has instituted a per se blood or breath alcohol level (typically .08 BAC) as their threshold for an independent criminal offense, and a multitude of state and federal agencies continue to work toward educating the public and raising awareness about the hazards of drunk driving. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)
As we progress into the spring season, the nights are getting longer, and people are naturally more inclined to go out and enjoy this extra daylight with family and friends. However, if your plans involve drinking, keep the following safety tips in mind:
When Drinking Alcohol-The first thing everyone should do when planning a night of drinking with a group is designate a sober driver to get everyone home at the end of the night. If you become separated from your group, or you are drinking by yourself, it is important that you find an alternative means of transportation. This can include a taxi, train, or bus; anything is better than choosing to drive home while intoxicated. Above all, make sure to watch out for your friends, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you see someone intoxicated leaving to drive home.
When Throwing a Party-Always make sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages at a party you are hosting. Certain guests may not drink alcohol, and others may just want to have a drink and relax. In addition to this, serve a good amount of food and snacks to absorb alcohol throughout the night, and stop serving drinks at least an hour before the party concludes. This will allow people to properly gage how much they have consumed and take appropriate measures to get home. As a host, it is also your responsibility to ensure that anyone who is too intoxicated to drive does not drive. This can be done fairly easily by keeping your guests’ keys until the end of the party, and choosing who is capable of reclaiming their keys at that time. (State Farm Insurance)
Together, our Chicago car accident lawyers and staff bring over 130 years of legal experience to every case we handle, and since 1992 this has resulted in more than $520 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients and their families. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation as well. If you think you may have a case, call our lawyers anytime for a free consultation.