Nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities are caused by impaired driving, which is certain to worsen in the future. To help keep impaired drivers off the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has once again activated the Pre-Holiday Season Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign that runs till December 14, 2021. The two primary themes of this pre-Holiday Season to raise awareness of the perils of impaired driving are:
- Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving
- If You Feel Different, You Drive Different
Driving buzzed or drugged is nearly as dangerous as driving impaired. The distinction between buzzed and drunk is not always evident. However, buzzed or drugged driving is similar to driving under the influence. The holiday season is slowly leading up, and with Christmas and New Year around the corner, hundreds of people will travel to see friends and family for celebrations. Be watchful of the impaired drivers on Virginia roads and plan a sober ride home if your celebration includes a drink or other impairing drugs.
Virginia's top-rated auto accident attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman have long advocated for drunk driving accident victims in Virginia. We are committed to increasing our efforts to discourage drivers from driving after consuming alcohol or drugs during the holidays. This article shares some facts to spread why impaired driving is never a good idea.
Is Buzzed Driving as same as Drunk Driving?
In a nutshell? Yes, buzzed and drunk driving both are similar. Even a tiny amount that does not put you over the legal limit may impair your driving skills. Passenger vehicle drivers over age 21 are considered legally drunk in Virginia when their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or more. However, a motorist with BAC between 0.01 and 0.07 might be impaired and put other road users in danger. The probability of collision remains the same for buzzed or drunk driving.
The facts and figures by NHTSA leave no scope for justifications on statements like I was just a little buzzed or I did not think one beer would hurt.
- December 2019 witnessed 837 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.
- In 2019, Christmas and New Year's holidays witnessed more drunk-driving-related deaths (210) than during any other holiday period that year.
- Every day, nearly 30 people lose their lives due to drunk driving accidents in the United States. Drunk driving crashes took a life every 52 minutes in 2019.
- In 2019, 68 percent (6,872) of the 10,142 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities occurred in collisions where at least one driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more.
- When it comes to deadly collisions, males are more likely than women to be driving intoxicated. In 2019, 21% of male drivers were drunk, whereas drunk female drivers were just 14%.
- Alcohol-impaired driving collisions accounted for 19% (204) of all road fatalities among minors 14 and younger in 2019.
- It is riskier to be on the roads at night: Alcohol impairment was 3.3 significantly higher at night than during the day among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2019.
- The cost of drunk driving and the damage it causes to the American people is $132 billion per year.
- In Virginia, there were 18,648 DUI convictions in 2019. Alcohol was involved in 32 percent of all Virginia traffic fatalities, accounting for 264 of the 827 deaths.
- 48% of Virginia’s alcohol-related fatal crashes occurred between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
- Suffolk City, Pittsylvania County, and Hanover County were the top three locations for alcohol-impaired fatalities in Virginia.
Pre-Holiday Season Drug-Impaired Driving Virginia
With recreational marijuana use legalized for adults in Virginia, motorists have to be extra vigilant for impaired drivers on roads this Holiday Season. You are mistaken if you believe that driving while high on marijuana will not affect you. Marijuana can significantly reduce the reaction time, impair mental ability, and make it more challenging for impaired drivers to stay stable in their lane. Some over-the-counter medicines and prescription medications can also affect your cognitive ability to drive. Always read the labeling and keep in mind: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Stay sober, keep the holidays merry and bright. Do not drive impaired.
Review following facts and spread the word about the risks of driving while under the influence of drugs:
- According to the NHTSA, the percentage of drivers killed in collisions who tested positive for marijuana nearly doubled between 2009 and 2018.
- In 2018, 46 percent of drivers killed in car accidents were tested positive for drugs.
- A DUI may cost you $10,000 in legal fees, penalties, court charges, missed work time, higher insurance rates, and other expenses.
- You might risk jail time if discovered driving while under the influence of an impairing drug.
Planning Ahead is Key for Pre-Holiday Season
Planning a sober ride is the key to the success of the Pre-Holiday Season Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign. Do not get behind the wheel if you've been drinking or using recreational marijuana. Call a sober friend and use rideshare or taxi to get you home safely. Motorists always wear a seat belt; it is the best defense when hit by an impaired driver. Last but not least, if you spot an impaired driver on the road, safely pull over and call law enforcement.
Our nationally recognized personal injury attorney Paul Hernandez shared vital information on dealing with drunk drivers on Virginia roads in the "Legal Matters" segment of WAVY TV's The Hampton Roads Show. Follow the mentioned tips about conducting yourself on the scene to best support your case if involved in an accident with a drunk driver.
Hit by an impaired driver in Virginia? Call us for Help.
Drunk driving accidents often result in catastrophic injuries that have long-term consequences for the injured and their families. Victims need not pay the price for someone else's reckless behavior and should immediately seek legal guidance to protect their rights.
Dedicated personal injury attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman have years of collective expertise and are committed to providing compassionate and tenacious legal representation to those hurt in a crash with an impaired driver. Callus for a free consultation today at 855-880-8163