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Abels & Annes, P.C. Personal Injury Blog

Nearly 1/3 of Traffic Accident Deaths Involve Alcohol Impairment

Alcohol creates a myriad response in the bodies of those who drink. From slowed response rates to a tiredness that can onset quickly, these effects may have a dramatic effect among drivers who have been drinking. For these reasons and others, driving while intoxicated is illegal in every state in the nation and doing so can lead to significant consequences. Drunk driving car accidents cause billions of dollars in damages annually and Arizona suffers from these instances every week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol impairment is a factor in approximately 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. In 2014 alone, 9,967 people lost their lives in traffic collisions that involved alcohol impairment which is an average of more than 27 lives lost daily that year.

In Arizona, a driver is presumed under the influence of alcohol if that driver has a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater. At that point of intoxication, a driver’s ability to safely control a vehicle has been compromised and the driver is more likely to be responsible for a crash. Drunk drivers may struggle to maintain a constant speed, notice and react to changing traffic conditions, stay within one lane of traffic, or observe traffic control devices, like stop signs. In short, drunk drivers are dangerous drivers to themselves and others in the area.

The real tragedy of drunk driving crashes happens when an innocent person suffers harm. If another driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian is injured or killed due to a drunk driving accident, that victim may incur medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that can make it difficult to recover from an accident. Further, it is possible for some injuries to be permanent and lead to serious, debilitating harm. Without a doubt, though, the worst accidents are those that cause someone to lose their life which is a harm that can never be undone or properly compensated since money can never be adequate to pay for a life.

Claims can be brought against those responsible for an accident including an at-fault driver, the owner of an offending vehicle, and even a bar or restaurant that overserved a drunk motorist. However, to successfully bring a claim, victims or the surviving family members of those who lose their lives must act within a time period specified by law. If you have questions about your legal rights, talking with a personal injury attorney may provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Prior Blog Entry:

Arizona Drivers Must Know School Zone Laws or Face the Consequences, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published November 21, 2016.


Impaired Driving: Get the Facts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published April 15, 2016.

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