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Driving while impaired

Every day, the roads of Rhode Island are made less safe by impaired drivers. Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs has been repeatedly proven to significantly endanger the safety of other motorists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 30 people die every day on U.S. roads as the result of impaired driving. The costs associated with these vehicle accidents are a staggering $59 billion each year.

The CDC reports that, in 2012, more than 10,000 people were killed in vehicle accidents involving alcohol. That number accounts for over 30 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities in that year alone. About 1.4 million people were arrested for impaired driving in 2010. That number includes drivers impaired by drugs who are responsible for approximately 18 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes each year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that each death caused by impaired drivers costs an average of $3.5 million. That includes medical bills, insurance payouts, vehicle repairs, road repairs and costs associated with losses of life quality. Survivors of alcohol-related vehicle crashes who were injured can expect to see nearly $100,000 in costs associated with their accident.

Statistics show that people who are arrested and found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher are seven times more likely to have a past DWI conviction. This means that repeat offenders are more likely to cause dangerous or deadly vehicle accidents.

When a car crash leads to painful injuries and losses in quality of life, it may be possible to obtain compensation in court. An attorney may be able to use police accident investigation reports, witness statements and physician testimony to show that an impaired driver should be held financially responsible for a client's injuries.

Source: NHTSA, 'Impaired Driving In The United States," Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), 01/04/2015 http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/alcohol/impaired_driving_pg2/US.htm

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", January 04, 2015

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