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Drunk Driving Deaths Fall In DC Region, But 15k Arrests Still Made Annually

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The number of drunk driving deaths in the Washington DC metro area fell by double digits in the region in 2015, as there were smaller numbers of DUI crashes and arrests, according to a recent report released in February 2017.

The report revealed that alcohol and drug related deaths declined in the area by 15% from 2014 to 2015, from 88 to 75 deaths. The report was released Feb. 20 by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program.

The fall in drunk driving deaths is welcome news after the number increased in 2013 and 2014, experts say. Still, the area has more than 15,000 people arrested for drunk driving annually. That is the population of Falls Church, Virginia and Chevy Chase, Maryland combined.

bus accident

Local drunk driving experts say that the decline is due in part to more aggressive drunk driving prevention, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols that focus on certain high risk areas at certain times of the year, including New Years.

Even with the good news, there still is work to be done. Alcohol tends to play a bigger role in many crashes in the DC area than in other parts of the country. Of the 229 traffic related deaths in 2015, 33%  were related to drugs or alcohol, while the nationwide average is 29%.

Another thing to keep in mind is when drunk driven arrests decline in a certain area, it could be due to less manpower available to arrest people. There  was a 16% decline in drunk driving arrests in Northern Virginia in 2015, but this could be due to a lack of police power to handle regular patrols.

Our View

Nearly 30 people die in drunk driving crashes each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the numbers have dropped in the last decade, far too many people die in these easily preventable crashes.

Our Virginia and North Carolina drunk driving attorneys are proud to play a small part in fighting drunk driving. We sue convicted drunk drivers in civil court. We think that not only should drunk drivers have to do jail time; they also should have to pay financially for their deadly, foolish decisions. Even if the drunk driving crash does not kill someone, the pearson can be maimed for life.

We represented a nine year old child who was hurt in drunk driving crash in Virginia Beach in 2009. The boy had a concussion, neck pain and facial injuries. We were very glad that the boy was not more seriously hurt in this DUI wreck, and we settled the drunk driving lawsuit in Virginia Beach for a confidential sum.