As we head into the holiday season, the likelihood of alcohol-involved fatal wrecks increases. Holiday parties where booze flows freely are often the culprit, but so are those who get depressed around Christmas and toss back a few too many at the bar and then try to drive home.
It doesn't take all that much alcohol to impair a driver, especially if the drinking is done on an empty stomach. Drivers are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or more.
In 2012, 10,322 individuals died in collisions that were determined to involve alcohol-impaired drivers. That total made up 31 percent of all fatal auto fatalities for that year in America.
Traffic deaths involving alcohol-impaired drivers jumped up 4.6 percent in 2012 to 10,322 from the 9,865 deaths the year before. In 2012, on average, one traffic death involving alcohol impairment happened in the United States every 51 minutes.
When that one person is your loved one, it ceases to be a nameless statistic and becomes a tragedy. There is nothing that can be done to restore life to the one you lost to the impaired driver's negligence. That grief you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
However, there are two paths to justice after a drunken-driving fatality occurs. One is through the criminal justice system. The other is through the civil court system when the family members file a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of their loved one.
If the second option is one that you would like to consider, an Illinois attorney can provide guidance and answer your questions about ways to seek justice for your loved one's death.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Alcohol-Impaired Driving," accessed Dec. 09, 2016