Labor Day weekend is historically one of the deadliest times of the year nationwide due to drunk-driving crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 45% of the 451 crash fatalities nationwide involved drunk drivers during the 2019 Labor Day holiday. Virginia state witnessed 116 impaired-related crashes resulting in 17 deaths during the 2020 Labor Day weekend.
Drunk drivers pose a grave threat by accounting for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Every day in the United States, 28 people lose their lives in drunk driving crashes - that is one person every 52 minutes. The year 2019 witnessed 10,142 fatalities from drunk driving accidents.
In an effort to prevent and decrease DWI/DUI-related crashes, the NHTSA, in collaboration with police departments across the state, has once again activated the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. The campaign will run till September 6 and aims to change dangerous driving habits into responsible actions that can help people mitigate accidents, injuries, death, fines, and other penalties.
Virginia's DWI Laws
Most people believe driving sober is majorly focused on alcohol. However, that's not the case. Virginia's "driving while intoxicated" (DWI) laws are outlined in VA Code 18.2-266, prohibit all motorists from driving or operating a motor vehicle:
- while under the influence of alcohol,
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher,
- while under the influence of any narcotic drug or drugs,
- while under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs,
- with a blood concentration of 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood,
- with a blood concentration of 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood,
- with a blood concentration of 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or,
- with a blood concentration of 0.1 milligrams of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood.
Tips to stay safe during the Labor Day Holiday Period
The financial consequences of drunk-driving accidents are devastating. According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the yearly cost of alcohol-related accidents is more than $44 billion. Follow the following tips to have a fun and safe Labor Day holiday with family and friends:
- If you've been drinking, don't get behind the wheel.
- Don’t let anyone else get behind the wheel if they've been drinking.
- If drinking, plan to designate a sober driver or consider taking public transportation or using a ridesharing service.
- If you're throwing a party, make sure everyone gets a safe ride home.
- A seat belt is your best defense against impaired drivers - buckle up on every trip.
- See an impaired driver, call 911.
Involved in a Drunk Driving accident? Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one gets injured in an accident with a drunk driver in Virginia, it's vital to get in touch with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney immediately to protect your rights. Kalfus & Nachman's skilled personal injury attorneys will help you gather vital evidence to build a strong case and recover maximum compensation. Call us for a free consultation today: 855-880-8163