Did you know that more than a third of the people who are killed in alcohol-impaired accidents are not the intoxicated drivers? According to a recent release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 10,000 people who were killed in drunk driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2011. These people account for about a third of all of the people who were killed in traffic accidents during the year.
While attitudes regarding impaired driving in the U.S. have changed in recent year, there is still room for improvement. Our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers understand that a survey taken about 40 years ago shows that about 10 percent of drivers were driving drunk. A more recent survey, from 2007, shows that only about 2 percent of drivers are driving drunk. Yes, that’s good news, but there is still more room for improvement as we continue to lose about 10,000 lives each and every year because of alcohol-related accidents. About a third of these lives lost are of the intoxicated driver’s passenger, occupants of other vehicles involved, bicyclists or pedestrians. Each and every year, these kinds of accidents cost our economy roughly $60 billion.
And these are accidents that are completely preventable, easily within our control by making better, safer and sober decisions behind the wheel.
According to the Boston Herald, a police officer was taken to Boston Medical Center after a recent encounter with an intoxicated driver. The accused driver, a local hairstylist, allegedly t-boned the officer’s cruiser near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.
She is now facing charges of failure to yield to an emergency vehicle as well as operating under the influence.
Or take the New Bedford man for another example. He had a revoked license for three prior drunken driving convictions and was again arrested on his fourth charge of operating under the influence after a Hingham officer said he nearly struck Back River Bridge in Weymouth. According to Wicked Local, the man’s license was revoked back in 2008 for 8 years after already receiving 3 drunk driving charges.
Under our state’s Melanie’s Law, anyone who is convicted of drunken driving with a driver’s license that has already been revoked for a prior drunken driving charge must serve a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in jail.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop a lot of drivers. In 2011, there were close to 150 people killed in drunk driving car accidents in Massachusetts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these accidents accounted for about 40 percent of all traffic fatalities observed throughout the year.
It’s important for residents, and visitors to the area, to remember that there are plenty of alternative ways to get home — that don’t involve an intoxicated driver. There’s always a taxi, public transportation or a friend or family member. If all else fails, grab a hotel for the night. That’s a lot less expensive that a drunk driving charge or a fatal accident.
If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Boston Drunk Driver Busted for Third Offense, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, August 26, 2013
Massachusetts Lawmakers Fight Lower BAC Limits, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, August 18, 2013