In New York, as elsewhere, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. Drunk driving, though, is widespread and leads to an alarming number of car crashes. In 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one person was killed in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes.
The following are some factors that increase the risk for drunk driving crashes. The first is age. Twenty-seven percent of drunk drivers in 2018 were between 21 and 24, and 26% were between the ages of 25 and 34. These were the two most prominent age groups that year. Teens are also at a high risk. Car crashes are the number one killer of teenagers, and about a quarter of these are caused by underage drinking. Also, there are four times as many male drunk drivers as there are female.
Of the 4,675 motorcyclists who were killed in traffic crashes in 2018, just over a quarter (1,213) were found to have been drunk. Motorcyclists, in fact, make up the highest percentage (25%) of drunk drivers in fatal crashes. More than half of the drunk motorcyclists killed in 2018 were over the age of 40. Lastly, there is the trend of previous DUI offenders driving drunk on repeated occasions.
Drunk driving continues to be one of the most common causes of motor vehicle crashes, and since it is clearly a form of negligence, those who are injured at the hands of a drunk driver can be eligible for compensation. New York is a no-fault state, so only those who have suffered severe injuries or disabilities may file a third-party insurance claim for non-monetary damages. A lawyer may evaluate the case and determine how much victims might recover. The damages may even include punitive damages.