Last year, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 605 people died on Colorado roadways. Of these deaths, the authorities suspect that 196 were caused by alcohol or drugs. This statistic also marks an all-time high for the state regarding motorcyclist deaths, which totaled to 125, and a 15-year high of 84 pedestrians and 16 bicyclists. The last time fatalities reached this high was in 2005, during which 606 individuals were killed.
Drunk driving is not only a concern for the state of Colorado, but the United States as whole, accounting for a total of nearly 10,000 deaths in 2014, which constitutes of a third of all traffic-related deaths. These numbers, however, only account for fatalities. The number of injuries, many of which are life-altering, is even greater. In 2011, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), nearly 350,000 individuals were injured in drunk driving related accidents.
A Major Problem
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, which is 1% of the 121 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among adults in the country per year. Drugs, both legal and illegal, account for another 16% of motor vehicle crashes.
For young people, all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) put them at a greater risk for a motor vehicle crash than older individuals. The CDC reported that 3 out of every 10 fatal crashes in 2014 involved a drunk driver between the ages of 21 and 24.
In 2014, 29% of motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes had a BAC of 0.08% or greater.
We can all do our part to prevent drunk driving accidents from occurring by following a few simple safety tips:
- Prior to drinking, designate a driver who will not be consuming any alcohol
- Never let your friends drive while impaired
- If you have been drinking and do not have a designated driver, call a taxi
- If you plan on hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests that they should plan ahead and designate a sober driver, and be sure to provide non-alcoholic beverages
The CDC estimates that, on a daily basis, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve a drunk driver. This is equivalent to approximately 1 death every 53 minutes.
Colorado has worked hard toward decreasing drunk driving fatalities, incentivizing ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers by allowing a shorter license suspension period for those who opt to use the interlock immediately. Additionally, the state has continued its use of sobriety checkpoints, attempting to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Denver Drunk Driving Injury Lawyers
More than 26,000 individuals are arrested every year in Colorado for DUIs, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. These grim numbers tell a story – that drunk driving continues to be a massive problem, costing thousands of lives, and ruining hundreds of thousands more. If you or someone you love was injured or killed by a drunk driver, you have a right to hold that person accountable. At Denver Trial Lawyers ®, we will fight to achieve justice and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Stephen W. Wahlberg secured the largest jury verdict in Colorado on behalf of an individual who was severely injured by a drunk driver, recovering $2,750,000 on his client’s behalf. When we choose to represent a client, we dedicate ourselves to ensuring the best possible outcome and will stop at nothing to win your case.
Call us today at (303) 647-9990 for a free consultation.