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Impaired driving and crash statistics

Each year in New Jersey, hundreds of people lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents caused by the actions of drunk drivers. Additionally, many more are injured. The problem is not one relegated just to the state, however. Drunk or impaired driving remains a significant contributing cause of fatal and injury accidents in the United States.

Of the 556 fatalities that occurred in New Jersey traffic accidents in 2011, a troubling 187, or 34 percent, of them were caused by drunk drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a total of 10,322 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes across the country in 2012. It is clear that drunk driving continues to be a national problem.

When people plan to drink alcohol, they should arrange for other transportation home prior to drinking. Drinking alcohol impairs judgment, so having a plan in place before drinking is important. If people are out with a group of friends, one friend should be selected as the group's designated driver and should refrain from drinking during the evening. People who are holding parties should provide non-alcoholic drinks for designated drives and should encourage guests to select one.

Too many people are injured or killed each year due to the actions of impaired or intoxicated drivers. When people suffer injuries in drunk driving accidents, they may benefit by meeting with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help injured people or the family of those wrongfully killed by filing civil lawsuits on their behalf. Civil liability may stand in addition to any criminal penalties faced by the drunk driver. Victims and families may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic damages for their losses. Additionally, sometimes punitive damages are sometimes available.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", October 31, 2014

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