A variety of studies show how great the impact of impaired driving is on the nation’s economy and on individual drivers in Connecticut and around the country. Alcohol-related crashes cost almost $59 billion annually and result in almost 30 deaths every day. Drunk driving also goes largely unnoticed and uncontrolled. While almost 1.4 million people were arrested for drunk driving in 2010, 112 million adults self-reported driving while impaired at least once that year.
Since arresting and controlling impaired drivers proves less than reliable, the focus is on preventing impaired driving in the first place. Laws in Connecticut and throughout the country help to control drunk and impaired driving in several ways. The first approach is through increased awareness of the problem and its consequences. Since younger drivers are most at risk, making them fully aware of the seriousness of the issue and its possible long term consequences on their lives and ability to drive is important. Taking the matter seriously by revoking licenses for DWI convictions and requiring mandatory substance abuse testing and counseling is the next step. Many young drivers do not take drunk driving seriously, but if the legal consequences are steep, they will hopefully be deterred.
Another approach targets the alcohol directly. By actively enforcing current laws related to providing alcohol to minors, the incidence of teen drunk driving deaths can be reduced. The price of alcohol can also be increased through taxes, providing a financial deterrent. Young people are less likely to buy alcohol in excess if it costs them too much.
Preventative measures are important, but they don’t stop all accidents. When an accident occurs, and a drunk driver may be involved, it is important to speak to an attorney about the accident. Evidence of impaired driving can be a critical component of a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts“, December 28, 2014