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Drunk drivers still pose a danger to Arizona motorists

Although the drunk driving fatality rate has decreased in Arizona, there are still a significant number of people injured and killed due to drunk drivers.

Arizona motorists should be able to drive on state roadways without fear of being struck by a drunk driver. State lawmakers have implemented drunk driving legislation aimed at keeping DUI offenders off of the roads, including mandatory ignition interlock device use for all convicted DUI offenders.

Although stricter laws have helped to significantly reduce the number of people killed in Arizona drunk driving accidents, there are still some negligent motorists who choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. These drunk drivers are responsible for seriously injuring and killing hundreds of innocent motorists each year.

In January of 2015, a law enforcement officer caught sight of an SUV driving down the wrong side of the interstate, according to the Arizona Republic. The man operating the vehicle was later found to have a blood alcohol content level of 0.313, which is substantially higher than Arizona’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. Shortly after the officer attempted to create a roadblock, the intoxicated man smashed into another vehicle, killing a young woman who worked as a Phoenix Fire Department dispatcher. He also injured several other people.

Drunk driving facts

Arizona’s DUI fatality rate has decreased by 4.8 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Since the mandatory ignition interlock device law was passed in 2007, the drunk driving death rate has plummeted by 45 percent. Yet 219 lives were taken in drunk driving car accidents in 2013. This preventable loss of life accounted for 25.8 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the state. MADD reported 5,190 car accidents involving alcohol in the state, 3,480 of those causing injuries.

Dram shop law

When intoxicated motorists are found driving drunk, they may not be the only ones who receive charges for their crime. Under Arizona’s dram shop law, drinking establishments that continue to sale alcohol to people who are clearly drunk and display obvious signs of intoxication may be held liable if those people cause a car accident resulting in the death or serious injury of another person.

Dram shop laws have been shown to decrease the rate of excessive alcohol consumption considerably by holding drinking establishments responsible for their alcohol sales. The law also encourages these businesses to check identification, and has led to a general decrease in the number of drinks sold to underage minors in Arizona. This is also true for other states that enforce the dram shop law.

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People who have been victimized by drunk drivers may suffer from serious, sometime life-changing injuries, including spinal cord damage, brain injury, broken bones, lacerations, loss of limbs and paralysis. Some people involved in drunk driving car accidents may have lost loved ones due to the negligence of another motorist.

A personal injury attorney may be able to represent your case. You may be eligible for compensation for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, lost wages from work, property damage and decrease in your quality of life.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury