Despite all of the known dangers and thousands of deaths each year, drunk driving remains an unfortunate reality in today’s society. Federal laws against those over 21 driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than .08 and a recent increase in the seriousness of the penalties associated with drunk driving have helped, but these consequences often come too little too late for those killed or injured in these types of accidents.
In Florida alone, there were 8,476 deaths related to drunk driving crashes from 2003 to 2012. That’s an average of 941 deaths every year. While there are some trends, the reality is that no age group, gender or income level is exempt from the dangers of encountering a drunk driver. Unfortunately, Florida’s average deaths per 100,000 people is actually higher than the national average, coming in at 3.7 compared to the national 3.3.
The most common age group killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a driver with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above was the 21 to 34 age group. Across the country, the average number of people in the age group who are killed in drunk driving wrecks is 6.7 per 100,000 population, but when only Florida is looked at, this number jumps to 8.0. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that 2.1 percent of Florida residents admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in the last 30 days.
The reality is that there is little you can do to protect yourself from drunk drivers on the road. However, if you are faced with the worst and have been injured in one of these accidents, there may be legal options to hold the person accountable.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Florida,” accessed June 05, 2015