In 2017, the 21- to 24-year old age group had the most drunk driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report “Traffic Safety Facts 2017: Alcohol-Impaired Driving.”
For the purpose of this report, fatal crashes are defined as those that involve a driver who has tested with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Young Adult Drunk Driving Accident Trends Are Bleak
Twenty-seven percent of the fatal crashes including alcohol-impaired drivers in 2017 involved drivers who were between the ages of 21 and 24. The next most prominent age group consisted of 25- to-34-year-old drivers, at 26 percent. However, while accidents involving younger drunk drivers decreased over the nine-year-span, older age groups showed an increase in this activity.
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The NHTSA report sheds detailed information about alcohol-impaired driving trends in each state of the country. Information on Arizona included the following data:
- Motor vehicle traffic fatalities: 1,000
- Number of fatalities with an alcohol-impaired driver with a BAC of .08: 28%
- Number of fatalities with an alcohol-impaired driver with a BAC of .15: 20%
How Much Drunk Driving Costs
There are many ways to approach the question regarding the actual economic cost of drunk driving. Let’s acknowledge, for starters, that it is impossible to place a value on the lives lost from drunk driving-related collisions. Likewise, the grief endured by survivors has no price tag. For survivors who emerge with painful injuries and emotional trauma, the cost of drunk driving digs far deeper than any stack of medical bills. For these victims, quality of life is seriously impaired.
Attorneys who help car accident victims recover compensation for these intangible damages have formulas they use just so they have a starting point for the discussion of compensation. NHTSA estimates this total societal impact in 2010 at $836 billion. Of this amount, $201.1 billion were the result of alcohol-impaired collisions.
When addressing the tangible economic costs of car accidents, NHTSA assigns a value of $242 billion in 2010. Of this amount, $44 billion stemmed from accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers). The costs that NHTSA considered to arrive at this amount include:
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Workplace losses
- Insurance administration
- Legal and court expenses
- Lost productivity
- Emergency medical services
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What to Do if You Were the Victim in a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you must know that you have the rights to recover compensation for the damages brought on by your injury—medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering, just for starters.
If you receive a call from the drunk driver’s insurance company, think twice about accepting any settlement it may be offering. Doing so will likely leave money on the table—and leave you covering a lot of damages of which you might not even be currently aware of.
Rather, consider calling a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with Arizona’s tough drunk driving laws, as well as specific state laws that apply to taking civil action against the negligent driver whose choice to drink and drive caused you so much pain and loss.
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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Damages
To collect compensation after a motor vehicle accident, you must be able to prove negligence. This involves proving that the other driver breached their duty of care to you as a fellow motorist by choosing to drink and drive, as well as proving that this negligent behavior caused the accident that caused your injury.
If the police officer at the scene of your accident believed that the other driver’s alcohol impairment contributed to the crash, the officer could have required the driver take a BAC test. This is mandated by Arizona’s implied consent laws. Your lawyer can obtain the results of this test to prove that the other driver was, in fact, intoxicated.
Your lawyer should also be able to investigate the scene of the accident to collect evidence proving that this intoxication caused your accident. Some personal injury attorneys even use accident reconstruction specialists to determine the events that led to a collision. They may also use medical records and eyewitness statements to corroborate the element of causation.
You May Be Able to Sue the Bar That Served the Driver Alcohol
Arizona’s Dram Shop law (Sec. 4-311) entitles you to also take legal action against the establishment (licensee) who served alcohol to the drunk driver who caused your accident, provided the following can be established:
- The licensee sold liquor to the driver when they were obviously intoxicated.
- The driver consumed the alcohol sold by the licensee.
- The driver’s consumption of liquor was the proximate cause of your injury.
Again, a personal injury lawyer has the resources and knowledge to prove these elements, if relevant to your accident, so you can claim the maximum amount of damages for your injuries.
Call Zanes Law After Your Drunk Driving Accident
If you were the victim in a drunk driving accident, call Zanes Law for a free case review and a legal consultation about your accident. We are aware of which age group has the most drunk driving accidents, and we will do everything from A to Z to see that vulnerable victims receive the compensation they need and deserve.
Call us today at (866) 499-8989.