Alabama Traffic Accidents – DUI
Every year, thousands of people die because of car accidents the United States. A large number of these fatalities are the result of drunk driving accidents in Alabama and elsewhere. All of these accidents are preventable if residents exercise common sense and responsible drinking — an important reminder through the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
Last year, there were nearly 850 people that were killed in the state of Alabama because of traffic accidents, according to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Nearly 300 of these fatalities were the result of traffic accidents that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. These accidents represent more than 30 percent of the state’s fatal accidents.
Our Alabama drunk driving accident attorneys understand that many drunk drivers don’t go out with the intentions of driving home drunk. But when they find themselves without a designated driver they start to convince themselves that they’re okay to drive. Consumption of alcohol has the ability to alter your reactions and to put you at risk for a serious car accident.
Impaired drivers contribute to one of the country most-often-committed and deadliest crimes:
As it stands, someone is killed in a traffic accident that involved an alcohol-impaired driver every 48 minutes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a person makes nearly 90 impaired driving trips before finally getting busted. In 2009 alone, nearly 11,000 people died in these types of accidents. Accidents that involved an impaired-driver reportedly accounted for one-third of all highway deaths. More than 196,000 were injured throughout the year. Even though the United States has seen a decrease in the number of highway deaths in recent years, the fact that one-third of these fatalities resulting from an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver has not changed in the last 10 years.
- Seven out of every ten drivers who are involved in a fatal alcohol-related accident report having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .15.
- Nearly 15 percent of alcohol-related accident fatalities occurred to those under the age of 15.
- Drunk drivers are four times more likely to hit the road during the evening that during the daytime hours.
- Drivers age 21- to 24-years-old accounted for 35 percent of all of the drivers that were involved in drunk driving accidents.
- Roughly 25 percent, or nearly 700, young drivers ages of 16- to 19-years-old who were killed in a traffic accident had a BAC .08 or higher.
In an effort to reduce the number of fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Alabama’s Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division uses state funds to organize the Alcohol-impaired Driving Countermeasure Incentive Grant Program. These funds are used to pay for increased enforcement efforts to officers who are conducting DUI enforcement efforts.
To help reduce your risks of being involved in a drunk driving car accident, considering the following safety tips:
-Before you start drinking, make sure that you’ve chosen a designated driver and that your driver has agreed to remain completely sober throughout the night.
-Never allow your friends or family members to drive under the influence.
-If you’re impaired and left without a sober driver to get you home, you’re urged to call a taxi, a friend or a family member. Try out your community’s Sober Rides program, get a hotel room or stay at a friend’s house.
-If you’re throwing a party where alcohol will be served, make sure your guests know to make travel arrangements to help ensure that they make it home safely.
The NTSB offers these suggestions to states to help keep drunk driving incidents under control:
-Conduct sobriety checkpoints.
-Enforce administrative license revocation when sobriety tests are failed or refused.
-Prohibit all plea bargaining and diversion programs.
-Create vehicle sanctions that separate individuals from their vehicles. These sanctions should prevent a previously convicted driver from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.
-Use of jail alternatives, jail/treatment facilities, home detention with electronic monitoring or intensive supervision probation to treat and assess convicted drivers.
According to the NHTSA, Alabama witnessed nearly 350 fatalities as a result of car accidents that involved an intoxicated driver in 2009 alone.
While the numbers are staggering, we hope that drivers will be more responsible and perhaps new penalties will dissuade people from committing the crime. We know that our state has been lagging in enforcement, but hopefully law enforcement will be able to curb this preventable crime.