It’s a sad fact that despite awareness programs, educational efforts for young people and strict laws, drunk driving remains a huge problem in New Mexico as well as the rest of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person in the United States dies approximately every 48 minutes as a result of a drunk driving crash. This equals about 30 fatalities throughout the country each day.
Those who drink and drive can belong to any gender or age group, although younger drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are one of the groups most at risk of being in a fatal alcohol-related crash. Drivers with prior DWI convictions are also at high risk.
Sobering statistics regarding drunk driving
In fact, states Mothers Against Drunk Driving, repeat offenders make up one third of those arrested for driving while intoxicated. Other frightening facts include the following:
- Two out of every three people are expected to be involved in a drunk driving accident at some point in their lives.
- In 2012, 10,322 people were killed and an additional 290,000 injured in drunk driving crashes throughout the country.
- Not only are car accidents the top cause of death for teenagers, about a fourth of these crashes involve an underage drunk driver.
In an attempt to prevent more of these tragic accidents from occurring, all states have adopted laws that punish drunk drivers, states the National Safety Council. Many states have ignition interlock laws, which require the installation of a device on a person’s vehicle that will not allow the car to start if the driver’s breath registers any alcohol. These devices can allow people with drunk driving convictions to continue to drive to work or school, while keeping others safe on the road.
While each state’s laws regarding ignition interlock devices are different, New Mexico is one of the strictest. According to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, everyone who has received a drunk driving conviction in the state, including first-time offenders, is required to have an ignition interlock device installed.
Drunk driving believed to have been a factor in tragic accident
In Albuquerque this last February, witnesses reported seeing a car driving aggressively before a crash that resulted in one driver being pinned behind the wheel. That person was later pronounced dead at the hospital, while several other people were hospitalized with severe injuries. According to KOAT News, two of the victims were juveniles. Authorities said that alcohol and speeding contributed to the crash.
If you were in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be dealing with serious injuries and overwhelming medical bills. It can help to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights, which may include the compensation of your expenses.