[profileleft][/profileleft]We should all know better by now. Drinking and driving is a terrible mistake. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming even a seemingly small amount of alcohol creates an inordinate amount of risk for the driver. It also creates an unreasonable risk of a DUI accident for any passengers and anyone else near that driver at the time. Yet an enormous number of us still decide after a few drinks that we are “OK” to drive. Too many times, that leads to a terrible if not tragic result. Alcoholic.org is a Web site that provides information to the public regarding alcohol use and abuse. Researchers at Alcoholic.org decided to ask 2,000 people about their history of driving under the influence of alcohol. The results may be surprising to some, but when one reviews relevant DUI accident statistics, it all may begin to make some sense.
About the Drunk Driving Survey
Respondents answered questions on a drunk driving survey in anonymous fashion in an effort to prompt totally honest answers. Some of the data appear below:
What percentage of people admitted to driving after consuming any alcohol?
- 66 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34
- Nearly 75 percent of people between 35 and 51
- More than 77 percent of people between 52 and 69
- Nearly 64 percent of people aged 70 and older
What percentage of people admitted to driving drunk?
- More than one-third of people between the ages of 18 and 34
- More than 43 percent of people between 35 and 51
- Nearly 40 percent of people between 52 and 69
- More than 27 percent of people aged 70 and older
In addition, 45 percent of men and 35 percent of women admitted to driving after having too much to drink.
What percentage of drivers, by region in the United States, admitted to driving drunk?
- Northeast – More than 27 percent
- West – Nearly 35 percent
- Southeast – Nearly 40 percent
- Southwest – More than 41 percent
- Midwest – Nearly 42 percent
What is the average number of weekly drinks consumed by people who admitted to driving drunk at some point in their lives?
- 1 – 4 drinks – Nearly 53 percent
- 5 – 8 drinks – More than 22 percent
- 9 – 12 drinks – More than 12 percent
- 13 – 16 drinks – More than 5 percent
- More than 16 drinks – More than 7 percent
What percentage of people, broken down by age range, believe that there is such a thing as a “good” drunk driver?
- 18 – 34 – Nearly 69 percent
- 35 – 51 – More than 70 percent
- 52 – 69 – More than 82 percent
- 70 or older – 100 percent
The older people get, the more likely they are to think that some people are “good” drivers after consuming too much alcohol.
Those interested in reading the full survey can find it here.
Fatal DUI Accident Statistics
Clearly, a large number of people in the United States drive after consuming alcohol on a regular basis. As a result, fatal DUI accidents remain prevalent. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC:
- Nearly 10,000 people died in 2014 in car accidents where alcohol impairment was a factor.
- This accounted for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States that year.
- 19 percent of children under the age of 15 who died in traffic accidents lost their lives in crashes involving a driver who was impaired by alcohol.
- Over half of all passengers under the age of 15 who were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes were riding in a vehicle with an impaired driver.
The CDC’s full breakdown of the situation appears at this link. The numbers regarding DUI accident fatalities have remained largely steady in recent years across the United States.
California DUI Accident Statistics
The statistics regarding DUI accidents in California are not comforting, as the problem with drinking and driving remains as dangerous in California as just about anywhere else in the United States. 2013 is the most recent year from which complete data are available. During that year:
- Authorities arrested more than 162,000 people on suspicion of DUI.
- 568 fatal crashes occurred where alcohol impairment was listed as the primary factor.
- Nearly 12,000 accidents occurred where alcohol impairment was listed as the primary factor.
Therefore, hundreds of people are killed and tens of thousands are injured every year in California because of impaired driving.
Consequences of a DUI Accident
When someone is injured in a DUI accident, that person can face a long and difficult road to recovery. He or she will likely face physical pain, psychological obstacles and of course financial losses. When a family suddenly loses a loved one to a drunk driver, the losses can be even more devastating. Unfortunately, some people believe that there is little if anything that can be done to hold that drunk driver accountable for the harm that he or she inflicted. That’s because in most cases drunk drivers who cause a DUI accident are prosecuted. If they injure or kill someone, that drunk driver can face the real prospect of incarceration.
There is more that people who suffer because of drunk drivers can do to help themselves. They can still file a personal injury lawsuit against that drunk driver. There are also options for the recovery of damages beyond the assets of the person who caused the crash, but the specifics of those recovery options will depend on the circumstances surrounding that particular situation. An experienced professional needs to closely examine the details of a DUI accident after it occurs.
If you have been harmed by a drunk driver or you have lost someone you love because of a drunk driver, you need to seek the help of that experienced professional so that you can proceed properly. Contact a DUI accident lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.