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Learn the facts about drinking and driving

Every day, a person in California or another state dies every 51 minutes because of an alcohol-impaired driver. This means that about 30 people die every day in this country in perfectly preventable accidents. In 2013, about one-third of traffic-related deaths were due to impaired driving with many of these deaths being of children age 14 or younger. About half of the children who died in alcohol-related accidents were in the same vehicle as the impaired driver.

Driving under the influence costs the United States an estimated $59 billion annually in societal and economic costs. Drugs other than alcohol cause about 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths. Many of the impaired drivers who caused fatal accidents were younger drivers. About one-third of the drivers were between the age of 21 and 24 and another 53 percent were between the ages of 25 and 44. These numbers hold true for motorcyclist deaths as well with 27 percent of them having a BAC of 0.08 or greater.

There have been national, state and local campaigns established to help curtail impaired driving and to reduce the number of crashes that occur when people drink and drive. Various initiatives include setting up sobriety checkpoints, installing ignition interlocks devices, enforcing drinking and driving laws, suspending driver's licenses of people convicted of drinking and driving, requiring substance abuse treatment for DWI or DUI offenders and establishing community efforts to help educate the public on the risks of drinking and driving.

A person who is injured in an alcohol-related accident may choose to discuss legal options with an attorney. The filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver may be one way of obtaining compensation for the economic and non-economic damages that were incurred.

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