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Alcohol is a large factor in fatal accidents

Illinois drivers may know that drinking is involved in many roadway deaths in this country. Programs aimed at reducing the number may be working since the reported numbers of fatalities have lessened.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, three individuals die every two hours in an alcohol-related crash in this country. More than four million adults admitted driving drunk at least one time, resulting in 112 million drunk driving incidents in 2010. Property damage from drunk driving accidents was estimated at $37 million that same year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Statistics show the number of fatalities has decreased since 1990. Now, all 50 states and the District of Columbia use a blood alcohol level of .08 percent as the legal limit. Furthermore, laws such as zero tolerance have been strictly enforced. Overall, in 2010, law enforcement arrested 1.4 million drunk drivers. Intoxicated drivers often injure or kill pedestrians and bicyclists. Visibility and lack of protection are both factors in the more than 2,000 deaths in this subgroup. Boaters who operate their vessels under the influence are a problem as well. According to the Coast Guard, 154 people died associated with recreational boating in 2010.

When an individual operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, they are abandoning their duty of care to other motorists. As evidenced by the number of fatalities, this happens frequently. If someone is killed after a motor vehicle accident with a drunk driver, their family could experience the burden of end-of-life expenses, lost financial support and burial costs. The family might be eligible to seek compensation, and an attorney could assist in reviewing the details of the accident and helping them prepare a wrongful death suit.

Source: United States Department of Transportation , "Drunk Driving by the Numbers", Matthew Chambers, Mindy Liu, and Chip Moore, October 10, 2014

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