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Statistics tell story of drunk driving accidents

Far too many New Jersey residents understand the impact of drunk drivers. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one American dies every 51 minutes because a drunk driver causes an accident.

More than 10,300 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents in 2012, according to the center. This makes up for nearly 33 percent of all car accident fatalities. Some The 1.4 million drivers arrested for drunk driving in 2010 was only the tip of the iceberg, the center said, since 112 million instances of drinking and driving were admitted to in voluntary reporting. DUI accidents don't always involve alcohol. Drivers using illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, sometimes in conjunction with alcohol, accounted for 18 percent of motor vehicle fatalities.

One third of motorists arrested for drunk driving were between the ages of 21 and 24. Almost half the motorcyclists killed in drunk driving accidents were older than 40 years. The center says deaths and injuries from DWI accidents can be reduced or prevented with strict enforcement of drunk-driving laws, taking away drivers' licenses of drunk drivers, increasing alcohol taxes so people will buy less and requiring mandatory blood testing of drivers involved in injury crashes.

Drunk driving accidents are tragic because they could have been easily prevented if the drunk driver had let someone else take the wheel of their car. People who are injured in accidents caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics may be entitled to compensation for their injuries under New Jersey personal injury laws. Lost wages also may be recovered.

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

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