Drunk driving accidents are common during the summer, when people will be out celebrating with friends and family.
Fatal traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers are a concern for Oklahoma lawmakers and safety groups. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, 206 people were killed in crashes caused by drunk drivers in the state in 2012. 90 percent of the drivers in these cases who had a blood alcohol content of over .15 percent were repeat offenders.
While drunk driving fatalities have decreased by 20 percent throughout the country over the past 20 years, Oklahoma is one out of just seven states to have actually had an increase in the number of drunk driving deaths in recent years, says Oklahoma Watch. While the exact reasons for the increase are unclear, law enforcement believes that part of the problem may be attributed to budget cuts, leading to difficulties in enforcement.
Law enforcement officers are not immune to the dangers of drunk driving. Last May, authorities pulled over a suspected stolen car in Tulsa, reported Fox 23. While an officer was directing traffic near the site, an alcohol-impaired woman pulled out onto the road and struck the man. Fortunately, the officer only received minor injuries, and the woman was charged with assaulting an officer.
Despite National Decrease, Drunk Driving Deaths Still Common
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that about 30 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes every day in the country-about one death every 48 minutes. Sadly, children are commonly hurt by drunk drivers; others who are the most at risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash include:
- Young people between the ages of 21 and 24.
- Motorcyclists, either alcohol-impaired or struck by an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Drivers with previous convictions.
Oklahoma has a law that requires repeat drunk drivers and even first-time offenders with a high blood alcohol content to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Authorities hope that this law, along with other enforcements, will eventually curb the high rate of drunk driving accidents in the state.
Contacting an Attorney
Drunk driving accidents often involve serious injuries and high medical bills. If you've been injured in an accident caused by an impaired driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.