Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Bring Repeat Heartaches

November 6, 2012

Auto Accidents, Wrongful Death

drunk driving accidents in OhioJulie is going out for the evening, planning to meet her friends at a local college bar.  Tonight she is driving alone, but Julie is usually the designated driver when her friends pal around with her.

Julie doesn’t drink.  A college freshman, who wants to go to medical school, she has made a pact with her mother, a recovering alcoholic.  They have promised each other that alcohol will be completely off limits for both of them.  Although she is a non-drinker, Julie does date and she arrives at the bar hoping she will meet a nice young man that night.

At the end of the evening on her way home, Julie meets Brian, but he is not the nice young man she hoped to meet.  Oh, he’s nice enough if you had met him in math class or at the college library.  But tonight Brian, a senior in college, has been drinking (at the’same bar Julie went to) and he is driving drunk.  It is not the first time he has driven under the influence and his Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is well over the statutory limit.  Brian’s SUV crashes head-on into Julie’s sedan as he runs the red light at an intersection.  She dies on the way to the hospital.

Julie was 19 years old when she died and everyone wishes she had never met Brian.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Julie was one of 28 people who die everyday in the U.S. as a result of someone else driving drunk.  NHTSA data also show almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash and that one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.  Almost one third (31%) of all traffic deaths annually are related to a person Driving While Under the Influence (DUI).

The number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half since Mothers Against Drunk Divers (MADD) was founded in 1980, but offenders remain prevalent.  Ohio ranks eighth in the number of drunk driving fatalities nationwide and seventh in Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) ratings above .08%, according to 2010 figures by the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (In most states it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.)  Fifty eight percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010, or 6,652 had a BAC of .15 or greater.

Overall, 10,228 persons lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in 2010—one every 52 minutes—according to NHTSA figures for that year.  In Ohio,1,080 persons were killed that year.

Even more startling are statistics from the Centers for Disease Control which published a report last year indicating that the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest.

MADD is attempting to get all states to require ignition interlocks or breath alcohol ignition for all offenders  In the breath alcohol model, the mechanism is installed on the vehicle dashboard and the motorist must exhale into the device.  If the resultant BAC is greater than that programmed into the device, the device prevents the vehicle’s engine from being started.

Of those arrested for drunk driving in recent years, 147,000 are three-time offenders.  Another 33,000 have  been cited five times.  One study shows 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.  About one third of those arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

Sadly those who drive drunk take their children along.  Of the 211 children killed in drunk driving accidents in 2010, the NHTSA reports 62 percent were riding with a drunk driver.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver or your loved one has been killed by a drunk driver, you need competent legal help.  The experienced Ohio attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP will advise you of how to proceed with your personal injury or wrongful death case.

In an injury case, we will see that you get the compensation you deserve.  Of course nothing can bring back your loved one, but we can also assist you in a wrongful death case to help provide you with the future they would have provided for you if they had survived.

Call 1-888-534-4850 for a free confidential consultation or send a message from the website at

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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