Traffic accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers were responsible for one fatality every 51 minutes in 2012, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Such accidents took the lives of 10,322 people in the United States, a 4.6 percent increase from 2011. In North Carolina, 460 people died in collisions involving impaired drivers.
Drivers between 21 and 24 with blood alcohol concentrations of at least .08 percent had the highest percentage of involvement in these fatal crashes, at 32 percent. This was followed by drivers between 25 and 34, at 39 percent, and drivers between 35 and 44, at 25 percent.
Drivers with BACs of .08 percent and higher involved in fatal collisions, the NHTSA reports, were seven times as likely as non-impaired drivers to have prior DWI convictions. Out of the total for alcohol-related crash fatalities in 2012, 239 were children younger than 15. While more than half of these children were in the same vehicle as drivers with BACs of at least .08 percent, another 38 of them were pedestrians or cycling when drunk drivers hit them. The NHTSA also reports that, in North Carolina, a total of 1,292 people died in traffic crashes in 2012. Out of the 460 deaths that were alcohol-related, 58 involved BACs of .01 to .07 percent, 142 involved BACs of .08 to .14 percent and 260 involved BACs of .15 percent and higher.
The survivors of people killed in an alcohol-related car accident have the right to seek compensation if another driver was responsible for the crash. Those in this type of situation often will seek the counsel of attorneys who have experience in wrongful death litigation.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts”, accessed on Feb. 4, 2015