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The role alcohol plays when it comes to fatal car crashes

Drunk driving is a serious issue in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 alone, more than 10,000 people died from alcohol-related crashes. That number marked an increase of 3.2 percent from the previous year. Nearly 30 percent of highway fatalities are attributable to drunk drivers each year.

Every day, 28 people lose their lives as the result of a collision involving a driver operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. That number equates to one death every 51 minutes.

A driver is considered to be driving drunk when their blood alcohol level is at or above 0.08 percent if over 21, or 0.02 percent if under 21.When it comes to drunk drivers, the large majority of the ones that are caught are either those that are under 21 or repeat offenders between the ages of 21 and 34.

In addition to the aforementioned, NHTSA data shows that men are more likely than women to be in alcohol-related car crashes. In 2015, 21 percent of males involved in fatal accidents were later found to have been driving under the influence, as opposed to 14 percent of females.

Age also plays a strong factor in alcohol-related collisions. Those between 21 to 24 have historically had the highest rate of impairment at 28 percent. Those between 25 and 34 have typically come in second at 27 percent. The number drops to 23 percent for those between 35 and 44, 19 percent for 45 to 54 year olds, and 16 percent for those between 16 and 20 years old.

Rounding out the pack, seniors ages 55 to 64 years old come in at 14 percent and those between 65 and 74 years old at 9-percent. Elderly individuals 75 and older have been found to be responsible for 6-percent of all overall alcohol-related car crashes.

Today, 42 states and the District of Columbia hold commercial liquor vendors at least partially responsible for injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of drunk drivers leaving their premises. In 39 states, those that have social gatherings where liquor is served can be held liable for injuries and deaths that occur as a result of someone consuming alcohol while at their social event.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as the result of a crash involving a drunk driver, a North Carolina car accident attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.

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