Drunk Driver Victim
Every year in the United States well over 100 million people are involved in drunk driving accidents. In 2003, over 17,000 people were killed as the result of a drunk driving accident, over 1,500 in North Carolina alone. Drunk driving accident deaths account for a whopping 40% of all traffic related deaths each year. About 1.5 million people are arrested every year for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Perhaps most startling and disheartening of all, more than two-thirds of child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-related accidents during 1997Ė2002 were riding with the drinking driver, and out of these only 32% of them were properly restrained at the time of the crash.
Virtually every state in the nation, including California, has not taken this rise in drunk driving accidents and alcohol related deaths lightly. Stricter laws are now in place in an effort to discourage the practice of drinking and driving to begin with, and more severely punish those that choose to break the law. A DWI is the crime of "Driving While Intoxicated." In North Carolina the crime of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated may also be called a DUI, or "driving under the influence." DWI statistics indicate that approximately ninety-six percent of all DWI convictions are for misdemeanor charges. Felony DWI charges are typically brought against repeat-offenders.
Each state has the authority to create and enforce DWI laws. Recent DWI statistics gathered by the United States government found that 49 states, including North Carolina and Washington D.C. have per se laws that make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds 0.08 percent. More than thirty states have enhanced penalties for the crime of DWI when a subjectís blood alcohol content is between 0.15 and 0.20 or above. All 50 states, as well as Washington D.C. now have zero tolerance laws as well, meaning that a first time offender will not be given a lighter punishment simply because he is a first time offender. If you do the crime, you do the time. Period.
Drunk-driving accidents are a sad, inevitable reality in today's world. If you have been injured, or if someone you know and love has been tragically killed at the hands of a careless drunk driver, you have every right to seek monetary damages and compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident, a ridiculous and preventable crime like drunk driving can-not go unpunished, and this includes making those responsible pay for what they have done.
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