According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, the majority of fatal accidents caused by intoxicated drivers involved motorists whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeded the national standard of .08. Indeed, more than half of drunk driving car accidents involved drivers whose levels were nearly double the legal limits. There are several states where drunk driving is a serious issue, and while Tennessee did not make the top 10, it still sees more than its share of fatalities.
In spite of the law banning underage drinking, teens are still drinking and driving. Furthermore, those who have been drinking are also more likely to transport under-aged passengers. Though states have passed laws for zero tolerance for under-aged drinking, the problem continues. The 21-34 group is the most likely to be involved in a fatal crash involving alcohol. In addition, many of these drivers had BAC levels that exceeded the legal limits.
The least likely age group to engage in drunken driving is the 65-plus category. However, though these motorists are less likely to drink and drive, they are more inclined to drive while under the influence of a variety of medications, some of which may impair their driving skills. The overall average for the U.S. is approximately 3.3 impaired driving accidents per 100,000 residents. Tennessee’s rate is higher at an estimated 3.7 per 100,000 residents.
Though some states have seen a decline, many are struggling with this issue. What alarms researchers most is the number of drivers whose BAC content at the time of these fatal car accidents greatly exceeded the legal limit. After only a few drinks, most drivers will suffer some type of impairment, which only worsens with each alcoholic beverage. Those who are harmed by this type of negligence typically suffer both physical and financial consequences. Victims may have legal recourse for pursuing monetary relief for their damages through a personal injury or wrongful death civil suit.