Unfortunately, almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by a drunk driver. While drunk driving accidents can affect almost anyone who drives or rides in a car, drunk driving accidents are predictably more common among young people. Indeed, according to MADD, 40% of all 10th graders drink alcohol. In fatal crashes in 2014, the highest percentage—30%—involved persons aged 21-24. The next group was persons aged 25-34, at 29%, and then those aged 35-44, at 24%. Drunk driving can affect the very young as well: in 2013, a total of 1,149 children were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those, 200 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Of those 200, 121 (61%) were occupants in cars of drivers who had a blood acohol concentration of .08 or higher, in violation of the legal limit.

Attending the funeral of a young person who has lost their lives from either being hit by a drunk driver or being a drunk driver themselves is a traumatic experience. Seeing that potential lost at such an early age is enough of a deterrent for most to think twice before drinking and driving.

The problem with young people consuming excessive quantities of alcohol is multi-faceted and beyond the scope of this blog. However, young people’s drinking and driving is a public health concern that must continue to be addressed.

If you are college-aged, please always use a designated driver. Being responsible for another’s death—or putting yourself at risk —is simply too large a price to pay for impatience or a good time. Keep a cab company’s number handy if you do not have a designated driver. In addition to injuring or killing someone due to your drunk driving, you could also be slapped with a DUI charge, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, MADD courses, community service, huge fines and court costs, and more. Additionally, you could face a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit for hurting or killing someone else as a result of your negligent driving.

Driving after consuming alcohol comes at a hefty price. Before getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, consider that you are not just putting your life in danger. You are jeopardizing everyone on the road with you, and that could include children. If you are on the horrible, receiving end of a drunk driver’s negligence, a lawsuit will not bring back your loved one or miraculously cure your injury. However, lodging a complaint through the court system may help provide just the closure and compensation you need. Please, if you have experienced this, don’t delay. Contact us to determine whether you are entitled to any compensation.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.