Pennsylvania motorists may understand the serious consequences of impaired driving, but the issue continues to be a major problem across the nation. Nearly 30 deaths occur each day because of driver impairment, and national costs related to such incidents approach $60 billion per year. With approximately one-third of accident-related fatalities occurring in connection with alcohol use, there is significant room for changes to be made.
Educating younger drivers may make an impact on statistics for DUI fatalities. The majority of fatalities involving a BAC of at least .08 involve drivers under the age of 44, and 33 percent of such fatalities involve drivers who are between 21 and 24 years of age. Although there are zero tolerance laws in many states to deal with underage drivers who are impaired, more active enforcement of these laws might also help in the reduction of alcohol-related fatalities.
Parental education may also have a positive impact on DUI fatality numbers. Approximately 17 percent of juvenile deaths in car accidents during 2013 took place in incidents involving impaired driving. At least half of the children under the age of 14 who perished in these incidents were actually in the same vehicles as the impaired drivers.
A prior history of impaired driving indicates a high risk of a repeat incident. Reducing incidents involving such repeat offenders might hinge on stricter enforcement of existing DUI laws. Sobriety checkpoints and mandatory treatment programs could make a difference for some such drivers.
An individual who has suffered significant injuries in an alcohol-related accident involving a repeat offender might find that personal injury litigation is appropriate for seeking compensation for both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. A lawyer might also investigate whether negligent actions on the part of third parties such as bars or restaurants allowed the individual in question to have access to an automobile while impaired.