Each year, many people in Ohio are injured in accidents caused by drunk drivers. The problem is not just a statewide one, however. Drunk driving accidents are a national problem with injuries and fatalities occurring in the thousands every year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled statistics regarding impaired driving accidents that reveal that an American dies every 51 minutes in an accident caused by a drunk driver. In 2012 alone, 10,322 people lost their lives in impaired driving accidents.
Although laws regarding drunk driving have become more stringent, more consistent enforcement of the laws should occur. People should never go out to drink without having a non-drinking person who is designated to drive. The costs associated with drunk-driving crashes is $59 billion every year in the country in addition to the human cost in terms of lives. Unfortunately, too many people continue to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking alcohol, putting not only themselves at risk but also the people who are around them on the highways.
When people have been involved in a car accident and they suspect the other driver might be intoxicated, they should inform the police of their suspicions immediately. Those who have been seriously injured in a crash involving a drunk driver may be able to hold the driver civilly liable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Civil liability is available in addition to criminal penalties the driver might face. Even if a drunk driver is not criminally charged, a civil lawsuit can provide victims with the recovery of damages from the drunk driver for the losses they suffered as a result.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", November 15, 2014