It’s New Year’s Eve and many West Virginians are looking forward to a fun night of celebrating. While most people will have a safe and responsible night, some people will inevitably get behind the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink. Drunk driving in West Virginia isn’t only a problem around the holidays, either. According to the Times West Virginian, an estimated 128 people died in traffic accidents involving alcohol-impaired (having a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher) drivers in 2008 in West Virginia.
Here are some other shocking statistics:
– Across the nation, an estimated 11,773 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2008.
– On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes in the United States.
– The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 34% of all traffic fatalities in 2008 were the result of drunk driving-related crashes.
– MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) estimates that more than 1.46 million drivers were arrested in 2006 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In response to the rise in the number of drunk drivers on the road on New Year’s Eve, the West Virginia State Police and other local police agencies are stepping up their patrols to keep people safe and to discourage drinking and driving. If you get a DUI, your license can be suspended and you’ll get slapped with a heavy fine. You may even have to spend the night in jail. Underage drinkers (under 21) are subject to a zero tolerance policy – if they get caught driving under the influence, their licenses will be revoked. If you or someone you love has been hit by a drunk driver, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.