Illinois drivers should be aware of the risks associated with driving while drunk or otherwise impaired. Recreational and pharmaceutical substances may hinder the ability to drive so severely that the impaired driver becomes dangerous to themselves and anyone else on the road. An uncontrolled car is a lethal device, and a driver who is so intoxicated that they cannot properly control their vehicle is a threat to everyone around them.
Statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested that over 10,000 people died in intoxication-related road accidents over the course of one representative year. This comes to about 30 deaths a day. That accounted for 31 percent of all American traffic fatalities in that year. Other drugs besides alcohol are involved in about 18 percent of these cases, but alcohol is still commonly found in conjunction with them.
A large percentage of these deaths were children 14 years old and younger. These children were neither impaired nor driving, but their contact with an intoxicated driver resulted in fatality. Their deaths were evenly distributed between cars where the impaired individual was the driver and cars that otherwise became involved.
An intoxicated or otherwise negligent driver has the capacity to do grave harm to the other people on the road. People who have been injured by an impaired driver may choose to consult with an attorney about obtaining redress. They may file a personal injury lawsuit if they have been injured or a wrongful death lawsuit if they were closely related to someone who was killed. Any criminal charges against the defendant would be settled in criminal court and would be considered totally distinct from any civil action.