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Dangers of drunk driving

Drunk drivers kill and injure thousands of people every year, and drunk driving continues to be a problem for people living in Arkansas. Across the country, a person dies every 51 minutes as the result of drunk driving crashes. That troubling statistic equates to a person dying approximately every 51 minutes in the country because of impaired driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 10,322 people were killed in 2012 in drunk driving accidents. That high number was 31 percent of all fatal collisions occurring for the year.

Those most at risk for involvement in drunk driving collisions are younger drivers. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 accounted for 32 percent of all collisions involving an individual with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. The next two highest groups being people between the range of 25 to 34, who accounted for 27 percent, and the range of 35 to 44, who accounted for 24 percent of all drunk driving crashes.

Despite the serious risks drunk drivers place both on themselves as well as on others, people continue to drink and drive. Each year, 112 million people self-report they had at least one drunk driving episode. Of those, only 1.4 million are arrested for drunk driving each year, which represents only one percent of the total self-reported impaired drivers.

Car accidents caused by drunk drivers are prevalent in both the state and the nation. People who are seriously injured due to the reckless and negligent actions of a drunk driver may be able to hold the driver civilly liable for his or her wrongful behavior. Through filing a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver, victims may be able to recover compensation for their economic and noneconomic losses.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", November 23, 2014

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