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Can Impaired Driving Prevention Measures Reduce Car Accidents?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Arlington Heights car accident injury lawyer

When it comes to the dangers of drunk driving, it is no wonder policymakers, public agencies, and communities nationwide have made it an ongoing priority to ramp up their prevention outreach efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 people die every day in the United States due to intoxicated driving. This means one person dies every 50 minutes, and this does not account for all the non-fatal car accident injuries that occur because of DUI incidents. While impaired driving is generally defined as driving under the influence of alcohol, the term can also refer to operating a vehicle under the influence of narcotics, another chronic offense that plagues the roadways.

Strategies Used to Combat Drunk Driving

A number of strategies have been developed to discourage and prevent drunk driving behavior, including stricter laws and more stringent enforcement actions, as well as an increase in public education awareness campaigns. Technology has been another useful tool for discouraging drinking and driving. The use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs), for example, forces offenders to submit to a breathalyzer test in order to start their vehicle. The breathalyzer device is installed in the motorist’s car and prohibits the vehicle from starting if certain blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are detected on the driver’s breath. A range of other prevention tactics are practiced nationwide, such as sobriety checkpoints, vehicle impoundment, and license suspension, as well as registration and license plate confiscation.

Which Measures Are Most Successful?

With the many preventative efforts in action today, which ones are found to be the most effective? Multiple studies show that highly publicized sobriety checkpoints are particularly effective in reducing alcohol-related crash fatalities. According to the CDC, mandatory ignition interlocks for all offenders, including first-time offenders, as well as mandatory substance abuse treatment are also among the most effective drunk-driving prevention measures. 

Additionally, some states have found that the greatest impact is made when combining a number of strategies. For example, a case study done on an impaired driving program in New Mexico, which consisted of mass media campaigns, high visibility enforcement, and an interagency leadership team, showed that the program efforts resulted in a 36.5 percent decrease in alcohol-related crash fatalities. In addition, the state jumped dramatically in rank from having the seventh-highest alcohol-related fatality rate in the United States to the 19th highest. 

Overall, the CDC reports that these various strategies are all proven effective and that the level of impact and outcome of each effort tends to vary from state to state. What may work for some areas may not work as well for others. However, regardless of the overall success of these programs, car accidents involving drunk driving do continue to occur regularly. Those who have been injured in a DUI-related accident should work with an attorney to determine the best options for recovering compensation.

Contact a Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer

Being involved in a drunk driving incident can be immediately life-altering. Serious injuries can result in lost wages and expensive medical bills. If you or someone you know has been in an impaired driving-related collision, it is important to understand what steps you need to take to receive the compensation you deserve. Start by scheduling a free consultation with a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows drunk driver liability attorney who can help protect your rights in a court of law. Call Newland & Newland, LLP today at 847-797-8000 to make your appointment.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/strategies.html

https://www.transportation.gov/mission/health/Impaired-Driving-Laws-Enforcement-and-Prevention

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24745644

 

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