Drunk driving dangers in Virginia

Despite public awareness and tough laws, drunk drivers continue to plague Virginia residents, claiming lives and injuring many people every year.

According to 13 News Now, a medical school student died this spring after a drunk driver caused an accident by hitting the vehicle she was in while it was stopped at a light. In Pittsylvania County this summer, an impaired man drove into oncoming traffic, striking a vehicle with two adults and a baby inside. WSET reported the infant and one adult survived. The other adult died in the crash.

WKTR told how a man with a blood alcohol level of 0.294 hit multiple vehicles and a passenger late this summer, resulting in three felony charges for hit and run as well as driving while under the influence and DUI maiming charges. In Arlington City this October, ARLnow reported that two pedestrians were hit by an impaired man who was driving on the sidewalk and one pedestrian was lodged beneath the vehicle.

These stories are just the tip of the iceberg showing how serious drunk driving continues to be in Virginia. Despite strict laws, tough penalties and strong public awareness that drinking and driving is dangerous, many negligent people continue to make this choice. The worst part about such a decision is that it puts many other innocent people in harm's way.

How many deaths occur in Virginia from DUI accidents?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a steady pattern of fatalities associated with drunk driving. Between 2011 and 2015, the 208 deaths in 2015 were the least recorded of all five years and were close to the 209 recorded in 2012. In 2014, there were 216 such deaths and another 228 in 2011. Of all these five years, 2013 was the deadliest with 263 fatalities attributed to alcohol-related crashes.

How many people die in Roanoke in DUI accidents?

In Roanoke City over the same five years, there were 13 total drunk driving fatalities. Across Roanoke County, there were another nine drunk driving fatalities.

Of its neighboring counties, Bedford County experienced the most lives lost due to drunk driving with 23 deaths between 2011 and 2015. In Franklin County, 15 people were killed by impaired drivers and another 11 died in Montgomery County.

Botetourt County was the location of eight DUI deaths over those five years. In both Floyd and Craig Counties, six people each died in these types of wrecks.

How can the negligence and danger be stopped?

It may be impossible to get everyone to stop driving after they have been drinking. However, that does not mean that people involved in these accidents should do nothing. Talking to an attorney is very important at these times as it can offer some options for compensation. This can be a way of sending a very important message to drunk drivers.