While most Pennsylvania residents know that it is dangerous to drink and drive, they may not know just how dangerous driving after consuming alcohol can really be. In fact, in 2012, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents across the nation.
There are several types of drivers who consume alcohol who are more at risk for becoming involved in an accident. First, drivers who have a BAC of at least .08 percent and have a prior DWI conviction are more likely to become involved in a fatal crash than drivers who have not consumed any alcohol. Similarly, motorcyclists who had a BAC of at least .08 percent were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than those who had a BAC of less than .08 percent. Finally, all young adults between the ages of 21 and 24 are more likely to be involved in a collision if they consume alcohol, regardless of their blood alcohol concentration.
There are certain safety steps that all drivers can take to reduce the risk of causing a drunk driving accident. This includes, for example, identifying a designated driver who has agreed not to consume alcohol. If there is no designated driver, those who did consume alcohol are recommended to take a taxi home or have another person give them a ride. Finally, it is recommended that individuals who have consumed alcohol have their keys taken away.
If someone suffers an injury in a drunk driving accident, they can potentially hold the drunk driver liable for medical bills and other associated damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. Additionally, dram shop liability laws in the state of Pennsylvania also allow any establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol to be sued if they were negligent.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts,” October 31, 2014