Alcohol is one of the major causes of road accidents in the United States. Based on the Traffic Safety Act statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person died every 53 minutes in 2014 from a road accident brought about by alcohol impairment.
Alcohol-impaired accidents typically involve one or more drivers or motorcyclists with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of not less than 0.08 percent, which is the legal threshold for drunk driving. As a result of crashes revolving around driving under the influence (DUI), 9,967 people perished in 2014, though this was a reduction of 1.1 percent compared to 10,076 in 2013.
According to the NHTSA, alcohol-impaired road accident fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all deaths that occurred on the road in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The definition of drunk driving is the same across the United States, including the District of Columbia, “It is basically driving when your blood alcohol concentration level is at or above 0.08 percent,” said DUI attorney Hart Levin. Furthermore, every state has zero tolerance legislations which forbid drivers under the age of 21 years from drinking and driving. Usually, the BAC in these cases has been set at 0.02 percent.
Campaigns against drunk driving mainly focus on drivers below 21 years of age, repeat offenders and 21-34 year-olds, which is the age group responsible for more alcohol-impaired fatal crashes than any other. NHTSA says that young drivers are least responsive to arguments and counsel against drunk driving.
To ensure that alcohol sellers are alert and aware of which people they are serving liquor, 42 states as well as the District of Columbia have formulated laws that hold the sellers responsible for any damage, injuries or deaths caused by a drunk driver. Thirty-nine states have extended these laws to cover social hosts who serve alcohol in social events.
When we look at drunk driving by vehicle type, 2014 statistics provided by the NHTSA show that 27 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes involved motorcycle riders, 24 percent involved passenger car drivers and 22 percent involved light truck drivers. Only 1 percent of these fatalities involved large truck drivers.
Given the grim statistics above, penalties for DUI are naturally very harsh. Sometimes you will need an experienced lawyer who knows how to navigate the complex administration procedures.