Driving while impaired refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, and/or alcohol. Driving while impaired is one of the deadliest, and unfortunately, most committed crimes in the United States. Every day, at least 30 people die in alcohol-related accidents. That’s 30 too many. The annual cost of alcohol or drug-related crashes estimates to around $51 billion. If that doesn’t put things in perspective, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), three out of every 10 people in the US will be involved in an alcohol-related car accident in their life time.
Laws Against Impaired Driving
All states have laws against impaired driving, more specifically driving while under the influence of alcohol. Sanctions against driving while under the influence of alcohol include license revocations, ignition interlocks, as well as sobriety checkpoints. Driving while under the influence of drugs is a little harder to detect, especially because there is no national standard to gage the measure of drug impairment. Most states have a drug per se law that prohibits drivers to have any trace of a drug in their system while operating a motor vehicle. They also train dogs to help them sniff out drugs and identify drug-impaired drivers.
Who is at Risk?
The risk of being involved in an alcohol or drug related car accident is much greater for young people than it is for older people, at any blood alcohol concentration level (BAC). Of the people with a BAC of 0.08 percent involved in a fatal crash, one out of three were between the ages of 21 to 24 years old, the next two largest age groups were those between the ages of 25 to 34, and 35 to 44 years old.
Motorcyclists are another group at risk of being involved in a drug or alcohol-related accident. Nearly half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists that died in an alcohol-related accident were over the age of 40. Lastly, people who have previously received a DWI are at risk of being convicted again. Drivers who were pulled over with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher were four times more likely to have a previous DWI conviction.
The unfortunate thing about driving while impaired accidents, is that they all could have been prevented. Effective measures to prevent future accidents and deaths from impaired driving include:
- Actively enforcing BAC laws and zero tolerance laws for those under the age of 21.
- Immediately suspending the driver’s license of those who drive under the influence.
- Setting up sobriety checkpoints more often.
- Reaching out to your community about the dangers of driving while under the influence.
It’s also important that individuals remain responsible for their own actions. Safety tips include:
- Designating a sober driver at the beginning of the night.
- Don’t let others drive impaired.
- If you have been drinking, take a cab home.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of WT Johnson immediately. We take drunk driving very seriously and encourage you to seek retribution as soon as possible. Contact our expert drunk driving attorneys today and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.