United States Drunk Driving Fatality Statistics
Laws in all fifty states prohibit driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. However, while impaired driving is illegal some people still choose to drink alcohol and drive or operate their vehicles, which can have potentially devastating results, including accidents that cause serious bodily injuries or even death.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study finding that in 2014, approximately ten thousand people were killed in crashes where a driver was drunk or impaired by alcohol. This number translates to about thirty people in the United States dying each day in accidents involving a driver impaired by alcohol, or a death as the result of a drunk driving accident occurring every fifty-three minutes. These fatalities made up thirty-one percent of the total number of motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States in 2014.
Across the country, those who have the highest risk of being involved in accidents involving drunk drivers are inexperienced and young drivers. Young people are already at a greater risk of being involved in an accident than older people, whether or not they have consumed alcohol. Of those drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, and who were involved in fatal crashes in 2014, about thirty percent of those drivers were between twenty-one and twenty-four years old.
Others who are at an increased risk for being involved in fatal accidents are motorcyclists, and drivers with prior DWI convictions. Notably, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more and who were in fatal accidents were about seven times more likely to have been previously convicted of DWI than drivers with no alcohol in their system.
Minnesota Drunk Driving Fatality Statistics
In the 2014 study, the NHTSA also reported statistics for each state. In Minnesota, drunk driving deaths, or deaths that resulted from an accident where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, made up about thirty percent of the total traffic fatalities in the state. The national average for 2014 impaired driving deaths was around thirty-one percent.
Minnesota DWI and hit and run laws do aid in reducing the incidence of impaired driving fatalities, including laws that penalize convicted drunk drivers with jail time, fines, and license suspensions, however, you too can take a stand against drunk driving by preventing either yourself or a loved one from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol to the point of impairment. While it is true that you cannot dictate the actions of other drivers with whom you share the road, you can take steps to be sure that you are not the cause of a serious and/or fatal accident by driving while intoxicated.
If you or someone you know drinks alcohol to the point of impairment, make plans so that you do not have to drive your vehicle afterward. Before drinking, think about designating a sober driver, or taking a taxi, or making sure a friend takes a taxi home.
A DWI conviction in Minnesota can have serious consequences, including jail time, fines, and license suspensions, not to mention the consequences of your DWI offense may not only affect you, but can also be devastating for others who are involved in a crash you cause, particularly if the accident causes serious injuries or death.
If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Douglas Kans and his defense team can review the facts and evidence in your DWI case, advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the law, and help you determine your chance for a successful outcome in your case. Call the Kans Law Firm, LLC toll free at 1-888-972-6060, or contact us online, and schedule your free case review today.