The Hard Facts of Drunk Driving in Virginia

istock_000007435695xsmallDrunk driving is problematic nationwide. In fact, one third of all vehicle-related deaths in the United States are caused by drunk driving. Though the nationwide rate of drunk driving has decreased over the past several years, the problem is still significant. Virginia is no exception to this rule.

All fifty states and the District of Columbia have a limit of .08 before a driver can be charged with drunk driving. While this is consistent, other laws vary by state. Virginia suspends a driver’s license for seven days immediately following their first offense, with no possibility of foregoing the suspension. Drunk drivers may also be subject to an ignition lock that prevents starting their car if they have been drinking. The state has no explicit open container laws, but they may vary by region.

Virginia’s Drunk Driving Stats

Good news for Virginians is that the Commonwealth ranks behind the national average in most of the negative effects from drunk driving, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2,613 people were killed by drunk drivers in Virginia between 2003 and 2012, a rate of approximately 218 people per year. The majority of these deaths were concentrated among those between 21 and 34 years of age, with 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people compared to 6.7 nationally. Rates of death in other categories were closer to the national average. Average between all ages is at 2.5 per 100,000.

Males are more frequently involved in drunk driving incidents, at 1.5 versus 0.9 per 100,000 for females. Virginia is below the national average in people who report driving after drinking too much, with 1.4% of adults admitting to doing so versus 1.9% nationwide. Those people would be unwise to do so; in addition to the obvious risks, sobriety checkpoints are allowed in Virginia.

Injured in an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver?

Richard Serpe, an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer, has helped victims of reckless accidents for over 28 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk or reckless driver, contact Richard Serpe. During your free consultation he can help you to understand your legal rights and options 877-544-5323.

CDC Article – Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Virginia