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Pennsylvania sees staggering number of drunk driving fatalities

Generally, the more Pennsylvania residents know about something, the better prepared they are to handle the matter. And yet there are times in which more knowledge does not always mean better conduct.

For example, as discussed recently in this blog, the dangers of drunk driving are well known by many. Even small amounts of alcohol can drastically impact a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, which can lead to serious injuries to others after a car accident.

It is also well known that there are a number of laws targeting drunk driving. Drunk driving laws impose criminal liability against those who operate while under the influence, while other measures like sobriety checkpoints and mass media campaigns are frequently undertaken to try to reduce the amount of drunk drivers on the road.

While the dangers of drunk driving are well known, there continue to be an alarming number of car accidents caused each year by a drunk driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 4,600 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2012. Overall, about one in three traffic deaths around the country involve a drunk driver.

When serious injuries or deaths occur due to drunk driving, those injured or the family members of those killed can bring litigation against the drunk driver to obtain accountability. The use of alcohol by the other driver can be evidence of that person's negligence, whether the person was above the legal limit or not at the time of the crash. Accordingly, it is important to do a full investigation in each case in order to determine whether alcohol played a part in the accident.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Sobering facts: Drunk driving in Pennsylvania," accessed on Nov. 5, 2016

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