The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has completed its compilation of traffic fatality data for calendar year 2014. The statistics reveal that alcohol is present in the blood of motorists killed disproportionate to the number of Americans consuming it in any given month.
The Majority Consume Alcohol
Specifically, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 56.9 percent of people 18 years-of-age and older said they consumed alcohol during the previous month.
The DOT reports that 15,479 drivers died on America’s roads in 2014. Of those, 74 percent had detectable levels of alcohol in their blood. Thirty-two percent had BAC levels of .08 or higher, which is the legal threshold for legally intoxicated driving. Therefore, the statistical difference is significant. That is, 74 percent of drivers killed had alcohol in their blood, but less than 57 percent of adults had consumed alcohol at any time during the previous month.
Despite more stringent laws and more aggressive enforcement, drinking and driving continues to be a leading cause of traffic deaths.
An Increased Correlation in California
In the state of California, alcohol was detected in deceased drivers even more of the time. In fact, 80 percent of motorists killed in California in 2014 had BAC levels of .01 or more.
Typically, intoxicated driving constitutes negligent conduct. Therefore, when a person in injured or killed due to such conduct, it is possible to seek compensation in the state’s civil courts. Victims typically seek monetary damages for medical costs, pain, suffering and lost wages. In wrongful death cases, survivors often seek compensation for loss of companionship. Many such cases are settled without the need for a trial.
If you or someone you know is a victim in a traffic crash, we make it possible for you to speak with an attorney free of charge. Our firm fights hard to get our clients the full compensation they deserve under the law. To learn more, please contact us.