Assessing the risk of drunk drivers

Drunk drivers pose serious risks to themselves, their loved ones and other innocent victims. Learn what you can do to get help.

New Haven County residents should learn just how serious the risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident really is. Crashes caused by a drunk driver can result in painful, lifelong injuries and disabilities or even death.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records, New Haven County was the site of the second most number of drunk driving deaths in the entire state of Connecticut in 2013. Following are more details that paint the picture as to the true risk that drunk drivers pose to Hamden residents:

  • Out of a total of 276 traffic fatalities that took place in all of Connecticut, 114 were attributed to drunk drivers.
  • Hartford County lost the most lives with a total of 30 deaths in impaired driving crashes.
  • A total of 26 people died in drunk driving wrecks in New Haven County.
  • Fairfield County lost 18 lives at the hands of drunk drivers.
  • Ten drunk driving deaths were recorded in Litchfield County.

Alcohol played a role in the deaths of nine people each in Tolland, New London and Middlesex Counties. Even one fatal accident is too many. The above numbers show just how serious the problem of drunk driving is in Connecticut.

Repeat offenses and high blood alcohol levels

One of the most dangerous combinations when it comes to drunk driving appears to be high levels of alcohol in the blood and prior offenses. The 2012 Century Council statistics show that almost 75 percent of Connecticut's drunk driving fatalities were affected by people who recorded blood alcohol levels of 0.15 percent or more.

The National Conference of State Legislatures states that in Connecticut drivers convicted of even a first DUI offense can be required to install ignition interlock devices. The goal of these IIDs is to prevent convicted drivers of operating vehicles while drunk again. An IID can be ordered for up to 12 months for a first offense and up to three years for a second offense.

Most IIDs must be installed in vehicles at the owners' expenses. According to TechHive, new versions are being considered for integration into new vehicles during the manufacturing process.

How drivers and victims can get help

Knowing what to do first after a drunk driving accident can be hard sometimes. Certainly taking care of any medical needs of those involved is the top priority. Once all persons are safe, contacting a lawyer should be the next action.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury