Impaired driving is a matter of great concern nationwide, including in Illinois. All people can be victims of a drunk driving accident, whether they are occupants of other vehicles, passengers riding with intoxicated drivers or pedestrians. It is reported that the United States is annually burdened with $50 billion in costs related to DUI crashes. Average figures indicate that one such accident is recorded every 45 minutes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics for 2009 showed that one-third of fatally injured victims in accidents caused by drunk drivers were people other than the intoxicated drivers. By drinking and driving, drivers also risk their own lives, as two-thirds of fatalities in DUI accidents were the drivers themselves. It has also been recorded that crashes involving alcohol are four times more likely to occur after dark, and the rates double during weekends.
The ages of drunk drivers also seem to play an important role, and statistics indicate that approximately 90 percent of drivers who lost their lives while operating vehicles with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit of .08 percent were between 21 and 44 years old. It is illegal in all states to operate a vehicle with a BAC level of .08 percent or greater, although drivers with lower BAC levels may be arrested if their driving is deemed unsafe. There are exceptions to the allowed BAC level for underage drivers.
So, considering the probability for an Illinois resident to be a victim of a drunk driving accident, it may be wise to be proactive and gain some knowledge of steps to take should such an accident occur. Medical expenses -- or end-of-life expenses in cases of fatalities -- will likely be significant, and financial difficulties may result. Recovery of documented financial and emotional losses may be pursued, but the successful presentation of personal injury or wrongful death claims in a civil court will have to be substantiated by established evidence of negligence. Victims and surviving family members may find comfort knowing that there are experienced attorneys who focus on assisting those who suffered losses in DUI crashes with pursuing compensation to ease their financial burdens.
Source: AAA DUI Justice Link, "Get the Truth", Accessed on Oct. 22, 2015