Ward Smith PLLC Articles Washington State Impaired Driving Facts

Washington State Impaired Driving Facts

By Ward Smith PLLC  May. 21, 2013 10:38a

Impaired driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents in Washington and across the nation. Too many people are injured or killed due to driver impairment, whether it is caused by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), the percentage of DUI-related traffic deaths in Washington in a recent year was 34% with an economic loss to the state of $858 million. Three-time DUI offenders numbered 19,783 and five-time offenders numbered more than 2,000. MADD reports that approximately a third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk or drug-impaired driving in the nation are repeat offenders.

The Century Council reports that 156 people died in Washington State in 2011 as a result of DUI-impaired drivers. Under 21 alcohol-impaired deaths numbered 23 in the state that year. The percent of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatalities with a blood alcohol level at .15 percent or more was 74%. Repeat offenders who were involved in a fatal car accident with a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or more comprised 80 percent of these crashes. These percentages show the major impact repeat offenders and a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) have on traffic deaths and injuries. All 50 states now have two DUI offenses. The first is called "per se," meaning the arrested driver tested at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. The second offense is an observation by the arresting officer that the driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired, regardless of his or her BAC level or drug residues found in a chemical test.

Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

At Ward Smith, PLLC, serving clients in and around Seattle, you will find an experienced and highly-skilled legal team dedicated to helping the injured and the family survivors of those who have been killed through wrongful actions. In many of these cases, injury or wrongful death claims stem from traffic accidents in which another driver was drunk, drug-impaired, distracted, inattentive, ignoring traffic laws, or otherwise negligent.

Every personal injury or wrongful death case is different; circumstances and facts will vary from case to case. Consulting with an attorney who is an experienced litigator as well as a negotiator is vital if you wish to obtain a fair and just settlement or a jury award in court. The attorneys at this firm know how important your case can be to your future and work diligently to help you achieve the best outcome. Listed as Super Lawyers in Washington State with dozens of years of experience, they are primed and ready to assist you. Contact the firm to get started with your claim today.

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