According to national statistics, there is one person killed every 48 minutes in a crash caused by a drunk driver. Almost 11,000 victims are killed in alcohol-related accidents each year.
In North Carolina, drunk driving crashes are one of the leading causes of crashes. In fact, there are more than 11,000 drunk driving crashes every year in our state, killing almost 400 victims and injuring another 8,000 people.
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above .08 in North Carolina (as in most states). There is zero tolerance for someone below the legal drinking age of 21 to drink and drive, no matter how little alcohol is in their system. Drivers convicted for drunk driving include loss of license, fines, and potential jail time. If a person is arrested for drunk driving while their license is revoked, their vehicle can be seized, given to the local school board, who can sell it and use the proceeds.
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Several years ago, the state passed even tougher drunk driving laws, classifying habitual drunk driving (more than three DUI arrests in 10 years) as a felony with a penalty of a minimum of one year in prison.
Despite these harsh laws, drunk driving still continues to claim lives and destroy families across North Carolina and the country.
What Happens When a Driver Drinks?
When a driver makes the fateful decision to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle, they are not only putting their own lives in danger but also the lives of anyone who is on the roads they will be driving on. As anyone who has consumed alcohol can attest, drinking significantly impacts a person’s coordination and motor skills. This also causes reaction times to be slower. Even a driver under the influence who is obeying traffic laws and speed limits still spikes their risk of causing a crash.
Drunk drivers often do not obey traffic laws, however, and drive recklessly and erratically, changing lanes, speeding up and slowing down, and tailgating. And to compound the dangers, crashes that include speeding vehicles are often more catastrophic because of the force of the impact.
Contact a North Carolina Accident Attorney for Help
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton to find out how we can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. Our firm has been advocating for victims and their families for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of your case. It is important for victims to remember that any civil case filed against the at-fault driver is separate from any criminal charges that the driver may be facing. Call our office today for a free and confidential case evaluation.