The Virginian-Pilot reported that the percentage of people killed by drunken drivers has been increasing since 2006. In 2006, there were 374 drunk driving deaths compared to 322 lives lost in 2005. While drunk driving deaths decreased in Hampton Roads from 32 in 2005 to 22 in 2006, this local trend runs contrary to the statewide numbers.
Alcohol-related deaths in Chesapeake, VA decreased from 9 in 2005 to 3 in 2006. Norfolk’s rate decreased from 7 in 2005 to 0 in 2006. Portsmouth’s rate increased from 0 in 2005 to 1 in 2006. Suffolk’s rate decreased from 6 in 2005 to 3 in 2006, and Virginia Beach increased from 10 in 2005 to 15 in 2006.
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It’s encouraging to see these fatality numbers go down, but one fatality or injury due to drunk driving is one too many. The utilization of “designated drivers” is a simple way to avoid the pain and misery associated with drunk driving injuries or death. Also, no matter what the ride costs, calling a cab is a bargain when compared to the monetary and non-monetary costs of a DUI or drunk driving car wreck.