Drunk driving facts in and around Wheaton

Out of 30 motor vehicle deaths in 2013 in DuPage County, a total of seven were caused by drunk drivers.

Wheaton residents enjoy a high standard of living and good quality of life. However, there is no way to fully eliminate some of the risks that face people on a daily basis. One of these is the danger posed by drunk drivers. A careless driver who makes the choice to drive after drinking too much puts innocent people at risk unnecessarily. As spring break season comes to an end and other holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are around the corner, now is a good time to renew awareness about the reality of drunk driving.

How many people die from drunk driving accidents?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2013 gives a good picture of drunk driving across the state of Illinois. Out of a total of 991 motor vehicle fatalities that year, 322 were attributed to the presence of alcohol. Each one of those fatalities is its own wrongful death. Detailed data by county shows the following:

  • Cook County recorded the highest number of drunk driving deaths with a total of 93.
  • In DuPage County, seven out of 30 vehicular deaths were attributed to drunk driving crashes.
  • Neighboring Will, Kane and Kendall Counties lost a total of 28 lives at the hands of drunk drivers.

Will County was the site of 17 of those 28 drunk driving deaths.

The media corroborates the risks

In just a few moments, an online search of news stories paints the picture of how truly dangerous drunk driving accidents can be. Three reports published by the Chicago Tribune give good examples of the varying situations that drunk drivers can cause.

Last December, two vehicles burst into flames when they collided due to the actions of a 29-year old drunk driver. He and his passenger were treated at a hospital for injuries. The 37-year old driver of the other vehicle died at the scene of the crash. With a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent, the drunk driver was held on a $500,000 bail for aggravated DUI charges.

More recently, an officer with the Park Ridge Police Department has had to take a medical leave from his duties. He was the victim of a hit-and-run accident involving a drunk 18-year old driver that ran a stop sign and struck his police car. The teen faces multiple charges including driving while under the influence, leaving an accident scene and operating a vehicle without insurance.

Another drunk driver ran his vehicle into a home in Chicago Ridge. After refusing breath, urine and blood tests, he has been placed on electronic monitoring.

What residents should do

Every person in Wheaton deserves the right to be safe on the roads. When another person's negligence takes that right away, help is needed. Talking to an attorney in the wake of a serious accident should be a priority for all victims.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury