It’s no surprise that drunk driving car accidents that result in wrongful death and personal injury spike during the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that fatalities increase on average by 20%.
Also, during the rest of the year, drunk driving accounts for roughly 31% of all car accident deaths; that jumps up to 38% during the Christmas period and 41% during New Year’s.
Communities all across America have searched for ways to combat this problem. One of the most effective ways to deter drunk drivers is called the “No Refusal” strategy. “No Refusal” is being implemented by more and more states during the holiday season in order to stop drunk driving car accidents and prevent personal injury and wrongful death tragedies.
The basis of the policy is the fact that many drunk driving suspects refuse to take breathalyzer tests when the police pull them over. Roughly one out of four, as a matter of fact, won’t submit to the testing (New Hampshire has the highest refusal rate at 81%).
Under the “No Refusal” strategy, however, law enforcement officers can quickly obtain search warrants from judges who are “on call” – allowing them to immediately obtain blood samples from the motorists in question to determine their intoxication level. States who have put the “No Refusal” program into action report that they are able to get more guilty pleas, fewer trials and more convictions.
The program was recently applauded by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who commented, “Drunk driving remains a leading cause of death and injury on our roadways. I applaud the efforts of the law enforcement officials who have pioneered the ‘No Refusal’ approach to get drunk drivers off our roads. And I urge other states to adopt this approach to make sure that drunk drivers can’t skirt the law and are held accountable.”
The Federal Government is backing up its words with a $7 million national ad campaign, which began on December 15th and is scheduled to run through January 3rd, 2011, supporting the holiday drunk driving enforcement crackdowns.
In 2009, the NHTSA’s data shows that 10,839 wrongful deaths occurred as a result of car accidents fueled by alcohol. 753 of those deaths occurred in December. It’s against the law in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher.
For more free “Straight Talk Law” information, please visit the website of King County Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney Jason Epstein at http://www.straighttalklaw.com where you can order free books on personal injury lawyers, Washington auto accidents, auto insurance, and other valuable legal information, offered as a public service by Mr. Epstein’s law practice in Seattle, Washington