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NHTSA Finds More than Two-Thirds of Drunk Driving Deaths Caused by Drivers with Twice Legal BAC Limit

1337577_wine_swirl.jpgDade City, Florida – While alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased 4.9 percent from 2009 to 2010, a new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more than 70 percent of drunk driving deaths involved drivers with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher. This is nearly twice the legal limit in all 50 states.

Other highlights of this study for 2010 titled “Prevalence of High BAC in Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatal Crashes” include:

• On average, an alcohol-impaired fatality occurred every 51 minutes.

• The most common BAC among intoxicated drivers involved in fatal crashes was .18, which is more than twice the legal limit in every state.

• 21 to 24 year olds accounted for the highest percent of drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.

• Of the 10,228 people that were killed in DUI crashes, 6,627 were drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.

The NHTSA released this study to announce its nationwide initiative “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which began on Aug. 17 and continued through Labor Day. The campaign targets drunk drivers on the roadways during the final weeks of summer; a time that many officials believe is especially dangerous for motorists traveling on highways throughout the U.S. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all highway crashes in 2010 occurred over Labor Day weekend, killing a total of 147 people.

It only takes a few drinks to reach the legal BAC limit of .08. In fact, drivers with any amount of alcohol in their system, even below the legal limit, may still show signs of
impairment. Many things can boost the effects of alcohol in a person’s system, such as what the driver has had to eat, how much sleep they have had or any medications they may be on. Alcohol can have various effects drivers, including:

• Reduced reaction times
• Impaired judgment
• Weakened depth perception
• Failure to maintain a steady speed
• Diminished vision
While a person arrested for DUI can face criminal consequences, they can also be held accountable in a civil suit for damages. A civil case can be pursued by injury victims and surviving family members to recover monetary damages from the at-fault driver.


The negligent and reckless actions of a drunk driver can lead to serious and prolonged injuries, permanent disabilities and even the wrongful death of a loved one. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in New Port Richey, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, Lutz, Trinity or Wesley Chapel, the Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can thoroughly investigate the facts of your case in order to hold careless drivers accountable for the damages they have caused.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a drunk driving accident, the Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can talk you through your legal rights and options. Do not accept a settlement before speaking with us first. For a free consultation, contact us online or call 727-847-2299.

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