Posted by Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and senior partner
Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is promoting its annual national drunk driving enforcement during the final weeks of summer vacation in an effort to crack down on impaired driving and reduce highway fatalities.
2010 Impaired Driving National Enforcement Crackdown August 20 – September 6, 2010
Key points from the NHTSA Campaign listed below emphasize why there is still a need to educate drivers of the dangers of impaired driving.
- “Impaired driving is a deadly crime that’s still prevalent throughout America and is especially common among young males 21 to 34 years old.
- To crack down on alcohol-impaired driving — which is especially common in the summer — police in every State and most U.S. towns and cities will be out in record numbers from mid-August through Labor Day (August 20–September 6).
- All 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have established a threshold making it illegal per se to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
- Yet nearly 12,000 people in 2008 were killed in U.S. highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with an illegal BAC of .08 g/dL or higher, according to NHTSA statistics.
- In 2008, 5,432 passenger vehicle drivers 21 to 34 years old were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those, a total of 2,866 (53%) had illegal BACs of .08 or higher.
- Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was four times higher at night than during the day (36% versus 9%).
- Thirty-two percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes on weekends were alcohol-impaired, compared with 15 percent during the week.
- In 2008, 32 percent of fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved drivers or motorcycle riders with BACs of .08 or above — an average of one fatality every 45 minutes.
- The percentage of drivers with BACs of .08 or above involved in fatal crashes in 2008 was highest for motorcycle riders (29 percent), followed by drivers of light trucks (23 percent) and passenger cars (23 percent).
- Forty-three percent of the 2,291 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes had BACs of .08 or above.
- The age groups of 45 to 49 and 40 to 44 had the highest percentages of impaired (BAC of .08 or higher) motorcycle riders killed in fatal crashes — 41 percent and 37 percent, respectively.
- Impaired driving is not an accident — it’s an epidemic of careless disregard for human life.
- Each year, nearly 12,000 people die on our roads due to impaired driving. That would be equal to about 30 jumbo jets crashing each year.
- No one should ever get that late-night phone call from the police telling you your loved one has died due to an impaired driver.”
The ultimate results of impaired driving will eventually catch up with those who believe “it will never happen to them.” Be safe on the road by driving smart. Please don’t drink and drive. It’s a matter of life and death for not only you, but all others on the roadway.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2011 edition), as well as a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2010)– national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.
If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 202-822-1899.