In the United States, driving while impaired or DWI is an extremely serious and dangerous problem as approximately four million adults drive drunk every year. Every single day, nearly 30 individuals die in motor vehicle crashes involving a driver impaired by alcohol – or roughly one death every 51 minutes. A total of 10,322 individuals were killed in 2012 due to alcohol-impaired accidents, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the country.
Unfortunately, driving under the influence of alcohol is practiced by a broad spectrum of individuals – many of them law-abiding citizens. While anyone can be at risk for a motor vehicle accident, studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that some individuals may be more susceptible to being involved in a DWI accident and a DWI arrest compared to others. These three groups of individuals, with the highest need for MN DWI defense, are the youth, motorcyclists, and drivers with prior DWI convictions.
According to the CDC, the risk of being involved in a vehicular crash is greater for younger individuals at all levels of blood alcohol concentration. In 2012, 32 percent or one out of every three drivers with BAC levels of .08 percent or higher who were involved in fatal crashes were between 21 and 24 years old. The next two largest groups of individuals were the group of 23 to 34 year olds at 27 percent, and the group of 35 to 45 year olds at 24 percent.
Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that even without any alcohol, teenagers 15 to 20 years of age are more likely to die in a vehicular accident compared to everyone else. With alcohol, the risk of being involved in an accident is even greater. In fact, studies show that 12.8 percent of all traffic crashes resulting in fatalities were related to alcohol, and that 40 percent of that number involved teenagers driving while impaired.
Among all motorcyclists who died in fatal crashes in 2012, 29 percent of them had blood alcohol concentration levels of 0.08 percent or higher. Every year, almost half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists killed are at least 40 years old. Motorcyclists with the highest percentage of fatalities with BAC of .08 percent or greater are those 40 to 44 years old at 44 percent.
Drivers with prior DWI convictions
Studies also showed that drivers involved in fatal crashes with a BAC of at least .08 percent were seven times more prone to having a prior DWI conviction compared to drivers with no alcohol in their system. Between one-third and three-fourths of drivers arrested for DWI have previously been charged for the offense. Unfortunately, one-half to one-third of those arrested for DWI will likely be charged again in the future for the same offense. The risk of a driver being involved in a fatal crash is 1.4 times greater for drivers who have had one or more DWI convictions compared to drivers who have never been charged with a DWI.
As an experienced Minnesota DWI defense attorney we can help, contact us today for a free case review!
Source: Injury Protection & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, published on http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Impaired_Driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html.