How common are drunk driving fatalities?

According to data from 2012, drunk driving is a serious issue, causing hundreds of injuries and fatalities in North Carolina each year. Nationally, a person dies in a drunk driving accident once every 51 minutes.

In 2012, 405 people in North Carolina died as a result of drunk driving crashes. Of those, 45 died as a result of impaired drivers who were not of the legal drinking age. 67.1 percent of all fatal drunk driving accidents occurred with people who had blood alcohol contents of higher than .15 percent, while 75 percent of those high-BAC drivers were repeat DUI offenders. These fatalities represented 4.1 deaths for every 100,000 people for the year.

In addition to criminal penalties, drunk drivers who kill others through their wrongful actions may also face civil liability. Damages in wrongful death cases involving drunk drivers can include recovery of medical care prior to the victim's death, funeral expenses incurred by the family, future and current lost income, loss of companionship and pain and suffering of the decedent. Additionally, families of victims may be able to recover punitive damages designed to be an additional punishment for the drunk driver.

It can be stressful to go through the pain of losing a loved one due to the actions of a drunk driver in a car accident. It should be noted, however, that none of this information is intended to be taken as direct legal advice, and an attorney may offer additional information.

Source: FindLaw, "Car accident basics"

Source: Foundation for advancing alcohol responsibility, "North Carolina", October 07, 2014

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