The most newsworthy thing about a suspected DUI crash in Virginia Beach, VA, in the very early morning of November 21, 2015, may be how little news the five-vehicle collision with injuries generate. Brief, almost detail-free notices appeared in the newspaper on a couple of television station websites. No real information could be gleaned from those publications, however, and no follow-ups on the culpability of the apparently at-fault driver or the status of the victims were forthcoming.
According to WAVY-TV 10, the allegedly impaired driver set off a chain reaction at the intersection of Princess Anne Road and Tiffany Lane at around 12:45 am. An unspecified number of people sustained injuries, and the city's Fatal Crash Team took charge of the investigation. Readers and viewers never learned if the suspect was impaired by alcohol or drugs or if any of the people in the other cars and trucks would suffer negative consequences such as disabilities for the rest of their lives.
The blasé reporting hides the terrible toll taken by drunk and drugged drivers. Perhaps, in the judgment of journalists and editors, the incidents simply occur too frequently to merit full coverage. As a Virginia personal injury lawyer whose firm has helped dozens of people harmed by impaired drivers, however, I know that every DUI crash creates consequences that cannot be shrugged off. Proving this requires no more than quoting the first highlighted finding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's study of alcohol-impaired driving during 2013: "There were 10,076 fatalities in 2013 in crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher; this was 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year."
No wreck, injury or loss of life caused by a drunk or stoned driver should go unnoticed. Likewise, drivers who hurt or kill others while driving under the influence must be held criminally and financially accountable.