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Drunk driving a threat on Illinois roads

Illinois authorities consider driving under the influence to be a serious problem. The Secretary of State has stated that Illinois classifies drunk driving as a "violent crime" due to the damage that drunk drivers inflict on society. Illinois residents should be aware of the extent of the problem of drunk driving in the state, as well as the options that victims of drunk drivers have for recovering compensation.

Illinois drunk driving statistics

Statistics show that drunk drivers are a problem on Illinois roads. According to the Illinois Secretary of State's 2013 Illinois DUI Fact Book, police arrested 38,704 people for suspicion of driving under the influence in 2011. Drivers aged 21 to 25 years old had the highest rate of DUI arrests of any age group, and 85 percent of those arrested for DUI in 2011 were first-time offenders. The Secretary of State noted that people are most often arrested for DUI charges between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. on weekends.

The Secretary of State also reported that 323 people died in motor vehicle accidents attributable to alcohol in Illinois in 2011. The number of drunk driving accident fatalities for 2011 amounted to about 35 percent of the total auto accident fatalities for the year. While the number of drunk driving accident fatalities decreased from 436 in 2010, drunk driving is still a serious public safety threat.

Compensation for drunk driving accident victims

Those who choose to drive while intoxicated in Illinois face severe criminal penalties. If they injure others in a motor vehicle accident while driving drunk, the victims of the accidents may be able to recover damages from the intoxicated drivers, as well. Injuries stemming from drunk driving auto accidents can be more severe than accidents not involving drunk drivers because the drivers are too impaired to take steps to avoid accidents, or they may swerve into oncoming traffic, causing head-on collisions.

Illinois law requires drivers who survive an auto accident where there are serious injuries or fatalities to take chemical tests to check their blood alcohol contents. If the results of a chemical test reveal that a driver was intoxicated at the time of an auto accident, the victims of the crash may try to use that information as evidence that the driver violated a statute, which helps to prove negligence.

Those who were injured in drunk driving motor vehicle accidents may recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The survivors of those who perish in drunk driving auto accidents may bring wrongful death suits against the intoxicated driver to be compensated for the monetary losses the survivors will face as a result of the victims' deaths.

Talk to a lawyer

No amount of money can replace a person who dies in an auto accident, nor can money fully make up for pain and suffering people endure when recovering from auto accident injuries. However, those who are victims of drunk driving accidents should not have to bear the economic losses that accompany those accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney with a record of successfully handling drunk driving accident cases.

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