Driving is a privilege. Drinking alcohol in Kentucky is a legal right that should be governed by a bit of intelligence and a sense of responsibility.
So what’s the excuse when someone drives drunk and kills another human being?
The Death Toll
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day in the United States, about 30 people die in drunk driving accidents. That’s one fatality every 49 minutes—one child, one parent, one brother or sister that is lost to a sorrowful family and friends.
The CDC provides the following statistics regarding alcohol-related vehicle fatalities in 2010:
- Almost a third of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States—10,228 people—were alcohol related.
- An alcohol-impaired driver was involved in the deaths of 211 children age 14 years and younger—about 17 percent of children who were killed in vehicle crashes.
- More than half (131) of the children who died in drunk-driving accidents were passengers in the vehicle in which the driver was impaired by alcohol.
Who Is Most Likely to Drink and Drive?
Certain groups of people are more likely to drive after drinking alcohol, as illustrated by these facts from the CDC about drunk-driving accidents in 2010:
- Younger drivers. Younger people are more likely than older people to be in vehicle accidents—at all blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Of drivers who tested at BAC levels of 0.08 percent or more, 34 percent were age 21 to 24 years; 30 percent were age 25 to 34 years; and 25 percent were age 35 to 44 years.
- Motorcyclists. About 28 percent of motorcyclists killed had BACs of 0.08 percent or more. Almost half of the motorcyclists killed while impaired by alcohol were 40 years old or older. More motorcyclists in the 40–44 age group (44 percent) had BACs of 0.08 percent or higher when they were involved in a fatal crash.
- Drivers previously convicted of driving (DWI) while intoxicated. Drivers who tested at 0.08 percent BAC or greater when they were involved in fatal accidents (8 percent) were four times more likely to have been already convicted of DWI than were drivers who were unimpaired by alcohol (2 percent).
Effective Ways to Combat Drunk Driving Fatalities
Some methods that have been used to discourage alcohol-impaired driving include the following:
- enforcement of BAC, minimum legal drinking age, and zero-tolerance laws;
- immediate revocation of driving privileges for individuals who drive drunk;
- sobriety checkpoints;
- health-promotion movements to prompt economic, organizational, policy, school, and community action;
- community-based efforts to control alcohol use and prevent driving under the influence of alcohol;
- mandatory substance-abuse testing and treatment for individuals convicted of DWI; and
- increased taxes on alcohol.
If someone you love has been killed by a drunk driver in Kentucky, get in touch with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Louisville. Call Gray and White Law at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.