Americans have known for decades now that drinking and driving are a toxic mix.
Even so, drunk driving accidents continue to terrorize America’s roads, and Alabama is no exception to this general rule. The number of Alabama accidents and deaths caused by drunk driving in 2014 is both eye-opening and disheartening, and, unfortunately, the rest of America continues to struggle with this issue as well.
Alabama’s 2014 Drunk Driving Accidents and Deaths
The state of Alabama suffered from 820 accident fatalities in 2014. Drunk driving accounted for nearly 1 out of 3 Alabama fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To be exact, 264 deaths — 32 percent of all of the accident fatalities in 2014 — were the direct result of drunk driving.
While the fatalities speak for themselves, the total number of drunk driving accidents is even more startling. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the latest data, there were 5,398 alcohol-related crashes with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01 or higher in 2014. 2,657 of those crashes resulted in injuries.
The state of Alabama also saw an additional 14,138 DUI arrest and 9,553 DUI convictions in the past year, and if these arrests had not been made, the carnage wreaked by drunk driving could have been even worse.
Unsurprisingly, these figures directly affect Alabama taxpayers. Taxpayers subsidized 2014 drunk driving fatalities in the state to the tune of $1.2 billion. Where Alabama drunk driving is concerned, the literal and figurative costs of drunk driving are too great to ignore.
Fortunately, there is reason for hope. In 2014, Alabama became the 21st state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law. Essentially, this law requires all convicted drunk drivers with an illegal BAC of .08 or greater to blow into a device that measures BAC before they can operate their vehicle.
In the years ahead, legislators are hopeful that these legal measures will help reduce the harms caused by drunk driving in the state of Alabama.
Comparing Alabama’s Drunk Driving Statistics to the National Data
In 2014, there were 9,967 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in America, representing 31% of all accident fatalities. As such, Alabama’s fatal accident data demonstrates that Alabama slightly surpasses these numbers since 32% of all Alabama fatalities are caused by drunk driving.
In Alabama, 27,875 car accidents were investigated in 2014, 5,398 of which were alcohol-related. This means that roughly 19.3% of Alabama’s accidents were caused by drunk driving. In the United States, the FBI reports that almost 300,000 people drive drunk daily, while only 4,000 arrests are made on a daily basis. For this reason, it should come as little surprise that an American is injured in an alcohol-related crash every two minutes.
Americans in general and Alabamans specifically must remain vigilant against drunk driving. That starts with personal responsibility, but that is far from where it ends. Ensure that your friends and loved ones do not get behind a wheel when drunk to keep your loved ones and innocent Alabamans safe.
Noel B. Leonard has successfully represented thousands of accident victims, helping them recover deserved compensation after being struck by a drunk driver. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver in Alabama and live in Baldwin, Escambia or Mobile Counties, call 251-943-8638 or contact Noel B. Leonard for a legal consultation.