Authorities are currently investigating the sequence of events that led to the death of an 18-year-old last weekend. According to preliminary reports, the teen was a passenger in a single vehicle accident that occurred around 2 a.m. Sunday morning near Raab and Parkside roads in McLean County. A second passenger was also seriously injured in the accident, and remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit. Upon questioning, the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle admitted to having had five cups of beer earlier in the evening, and added that he had smoked marijuana at before getting behind the wheel. Currently, he is being held at McLean County jail, and faces charges of aggravated driving under the influence. (Pantagraph)
Almost everyone knows that drunk driving is really dangerous thanks to ongoing responsible driving campaigns and initiatives to keep our roadways safer. Still, not many people are aware of just how pervasive drunk driving is in the United States, and some of the numbers might shock you. In 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that adults drive at or above the legal BAC limit 112 million times each year, which calculates to nearly 300,000 incidents of drunk driving every single day. Scarier still, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that roughly 40% of Americans will be involved in some sort of alcohol-related accident in their lifetime. (LifeSafer; Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
As this weekend’s fatality in McLean County makes clear, far too many drivers and passengers are killed in accidents that are 100% avoidable, and this is something that we can all play a part in changing. While the numberof drunk driving deaths are slowly declining, we can’t rely on media outlets to do all the work for us. The rate of intoxicated driving is highest among men and women under the age of 25, which means that parents need to make a concerted effort to educate their children on this topic, and reinforce their words by modeling responsible behavior. There is nothing wrong with wanting to go out with friends and blow off some steam after a hard week of work, but if you are going to consume alcohol, take measures to ensure that you have a safe ride home, whether that means a designated driver, a cab, or taking public transportation.
Our lawyers have spent more than twenty years representing the victims of Illinois car accidents, and in that time we have seen first hand how devastating one person’s recklessness can be to a family. If you or someone you love has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, our attorneys can help you explore your legal options.