Oct 18, 2014 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC
On August 22, 2013, U.S. Transportation Secretary announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was joining forces with other safety agencies and local law enforcement to engage in a nation-wide crackdown on intoxicated driving called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” The safety campaign was aimed at calling attention to the extent of the problem of drunk driving and the safety threat that drunk drivers pose to others.
Safety campaign focused on victims
From August 16 through September 2, 2013, approximately 10,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. put out extra patrols to monitor roads, looking for intoxicated drivers. At the same time the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a $14 million dollar advertising campaign to warn drivers that there would be extra law enforcement personnel on the roads across the U.S. watching for drunk drivers.
Drunk drivers a threat to all
The safety campaign focused on the impact that drunk driving has on accident victims. According to the NHTSA, almost 10,000 people die each year as a result of drunk driving auto accidents. That averages out to 27 people per day, or one person every 53 minutes. The NHTSA reported that over 33 percent of those fatalities are not the intoxicated drivers.
In 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, the NHTSA recorded 3,371 drunk driving auto accident fatalities who were not the intoxicated drivers and 6,507 deaths of drunk drivers. Of those who died who were not intoxicated drivers, 1,612 were riding in an intoxicated driver’s vehicle. In some cases the passengers had no choice but to ride with an intoxicated driver, as they were too young to drive themselves. Children under 15 years old accounted for 91 drunk driver passenger deaths.
The NHTSA also reported that 1,049 people died in auto accidents while in a vehicle having been hit by a drunk driver in 2011, and another 710 were struck by drunk drivers while walking or bicycling.
Talk to a lawyer
People who get behind the wheel after having drank too much are irresponsible, and they can cause a great deal of damage – sometimes irreparable harm. Drunk drivers need to be held accountable when they hurt others. In addition to facing criminal charges for driving under the influence, drunk drivers may be civilly liable for the losses their victims experience. Drunk driving accident victims or their loved ones may choose to bring suits to recover for medical bills, lost wages, property loss, wrongful death and other losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, speak with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you recover proper compensation.