Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
According to today’s Washington Post, a young police office working on special assignment for his agency’s Holiday Alcohol Task Force was hit by a drunk driver last week and died earlier today. The driver of the vehicle that struck him was held on suspicions of drunk driving with additional charges pending.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $59 billion.”
The following excerpts from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. highlight just how prevalent and dangerous drunk driving continues to be, in spite of increased awareness campaigns and enforcement.
“FACT: An estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. (NHTSA)
FACT: 3,952 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement. (FARS)
FACT: Over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. (FBI)
FACT: Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver. (SAMHSA)
FACT: On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. (NHTSA)
Alcohol, drugs and driving simply do not go together. Driving requires a person’s attentiveness and the ability to make quick decisions on the road, to react to changes in the environment and execute specific, often difficult maneuvers behind the wheel. When drinking alcohol, using drugs, or being distracted for any reason, driving becomes dangerous – and potentially lethal!
Despite increased public awareness, drinking and drugged driving continues:
FACT: In 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol – that’s more than the population of Texas.
FACT: According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 9.9 million people aged 12 or older (or 3.8 percent of adolescents and adults) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed.”
Common sense should dictate behavior and safety steps concerning drinking. Along with the holiday season, opportunities for drinking increase. Remember that drinking and driving are not safe together.
Listed below are simple guidelines from the CDC:
“Whenever your social plans involve alcohol, make plans so that you don’t have to drive after drinking. For example:
- Prior to any drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group.
- Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away.
- If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
- If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.”
Please enjoy the holidays safely.
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. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”. Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire 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 also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) – national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.