Driving can be dangerous anywhere. The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (NHTSA) reports that in 2016, 7,277,000 accidents were reported in the United States, with 37,461 fatalities. Our Tuscon drunk driving accident lawyer has experience helping loved ones of some of the unfortunate victims who make up these accident statistics. In Arizona alone, there were 126,987 wrecks, with 856 fatalities, making Arizona the 17th most dangerous state in the country for highway travel, and the second most dangerous state for pedestrian deaths.
Drunk Driving Crashes: Preventable Tragedies
While accidents at times are unavoidable due to road conditions, weather and a plethora of other causes, one avoidable factor that regularly contributes is driving under the influence.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that between 2003 and 2012, more than 2,912 people were killed in Arizona in accidents involving drunk drivers. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) reports that in 2015 alone, 272 individuals died in Arizona because of alcohol-impaired crashes, making up 30.5 percent of the total crashes. Shockingly, 20 percent, or one in five drivers involved in fatal crashes, were repeat offenders.
Tucson Drunk Driving Crash Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been the victim in an auto accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver, contact the Khalidi Law Firm PLLC to talk to our Tuscon drunk driving accident attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation and evaluation. We receive no fees and you pay no out-of-pocket expenses unless we successfully pursue your claim, but it is important to contact a legal representative quickly to make sure your case, should you have one, stays within the statutes of limitation under Arizona law.
Khalidi Law Firm, PLLC has more than two decades of experience litigating auto accident claims. Located in Tucson’s Barrio Historico, the firm is familiar and experienced with Arizona law and will make sure your concerns are addressed, and that you or your loved one receives treatment and compensation for any short- or long-term effects of the drunk driving accident.
Drunk Driving in Pima County: It’s Local Problem
Often times, crime seems like someone else’s problem. However, the problem is local. The Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT) statistics from 2016 in Tucson and all of Pima County show:
- 98 fatal crashes
- 4,591 injury crashes
- 6,957 property damage only
- 112 people killed
- 6,645 injuries
Of these Pima County crashes, there were 208 alcohol-related accidents with 132 of them involving injuries, and 7 involving fatalities.
Some of the Most Common Injuries in Alcohol-Impaired Accidents
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – TBIs are one of the most common injuries resulting from alcohol-related car accidents. Injuries to the brain may be fatal and may also cause debilitating lifelong injuries.
Spinal Cord Damage – Because of the abrupt trauma of vehicle accidents, spinal cord injuries are far from rare. These injuries may lead to disability and paralysis, in addition to millions of dollars in medical treatment and ongoing care.
Loss of Limbs/Amputations – The loss of limbs and amputations permanently alter a person’s life in many ways — intense pain, body image issues and loss of work capability and income, to name just a few.
Organ Damage – Vehicle accidents may result in major damage to the kidney and ureter, intestines, lungs, spleen, liver and many other internal organs. Because these potentially life-threatening injuries aren’t visible, they are more difficult to diagnose until symptoms become evident, making them especially dangerous.
Wrongful Death – When a drunk driving accident takes the life of another person, survivors can seek justice in the form of wrongful death claims. This includes compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of future income, especially if the deceased was the primary earner in the family.
Prevention That Works
Strategies to fight alcohol-impaired driving may be different according to geography; some preventive measures, however, have shown positive results in multiple areas. The CDC lists several preventive measures:
- Sobriety checkpoints allow police to briefly stop vehicles at specific, highly visible locations to see if the driver is impaired. Police may stop all or a certain portion of drivers. Breath tests may be given if police have a reason to suspect the driver is intoxicated.
- Ignition interlocks installed in cars measure alcohol on the driver’s breath. Interlocks keep the car from starting if the driver has a BAC above a certain level, usually 0.02%. They’re used for people convicted of drunk driving and are highly effective at preventing repeat offenses while installed. Mandating interlocks for all offenders, including first-time offenders, will have the greatest impact.
- Multi-component interventions combine several programs or policies to prevent drunk driving. The key to these comprehensive efforts is community mobilization by involving coalitions or task forces in design and implementation.
- Mass media campaigns spread messages about the physical dangers and legal consequences of drunk driving. They persuade people not to drink and drive and encourage them to keep other drivers from doing so. Campaigns are most effective when supporting other impaired driving prevention strategies.
- Administrative license revocation or suspension laws allow police to take away the license of a driver who tests at or above the legal BAC limit or who refuses testing. States decide how long to suspend the license; a minimum of 90 days is effective.
- Alcohol screening and brief interventions take advantage of “teachable moments” to identify people at risk for alcohol problems and get them treatment as needed. This combined strategy, which can be delivered in health care, university, and other settings, helps change behavior and reduces alcohol-impaired crashes and injuries.
- School-based instructional programs are effective at teaching teens not to ride with drunk drivers. More evidence is needed to see if these programs can also reduce drunk driving and related crashes.
Legal Help for Victims of Drunk Drivers
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact the Tucson drunk driving accident lawyers at The Khalidi Law Firm PLLC as soon as possible. With more than two decades of experience serving Arizona residents from Tucson’s Barrio Historico, we are ready to help your family. Contact us for a free evaluation.