Impaired driving is a serious problem in Washington and throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, nearly 30 Americans die each day in motor vehicle accidents involving a driver who is impaired by alcohol, which averages to one life lost every 51 minutes. Annually, impaired driving accidents cost more than $59 billion.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012 across the U.S., with 444 of those deaths occurring in Washington. That means that 31 percent of all traffic deaths were linked to alcohol. Other drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, were involved in 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths. These substances were often used in addition to alcohol.
Those most at risk for involvement in these accidents include young people, motorcyclists and drivers with prior DWI convictions. In 2012, people between the ages of 21 and 24 accounted for 32 percent of all drivers with blood alcohol content levels above .08 who were involved in fatal accidents, making them the largest offending group. In contrast, nearly half of all motorcyclists killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012 were over the age of 40. Additionally, drivers with a BAC of .08 percent or above who were in fatal accidents were seven times more likely to have had a prior DWI conviction than sober drivers.
Over 1.4 million people were arrested for impaired driving in 2010. Anyone who has been injured or lost a family member due to the actions of an impaired driver may wish to consult with an attorney. A lawyer could review the details of the accident and recommend the best course legal action. By filing a civil lawsuit, it may be possible to obtain a financial settlement that provides compensation for car crash injuries or a wrongful death suffered in an impaired driving accident.