Drunk driving remains a serious public health problem in eastern Washington. Too many lives are lost because of intoxicated driving. According to a report from KHQ 6 News, a 21-year-old Spokane woman was killed in a tragic accident early this month.
A representative for the Washington State Patrol told reporters that the driver lost control of her vehicle on a curve and rolled off the side of an overpass. The car accident occurred on a westbound entrance ramp of Interstate 90. Police officers believe that intoxication was a factor in the crash.
Intoxicated Driving Accounts for Nearly One Third of Fatal Collisions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study on the true prevalence of drunk driving. Using a series of comprehensive surveys, public health researchers estimate that two percent of Americans drive while intoxicated every month. While that may sound like a relatively modest number, it is the equivalent of 4.2 million people driving while intoxicated every month. Drunk driving is especially dangerous because intoxicated drivers are more likely to get into catastrophic collisions.
With that in mind, it is unfortunately not surprising that drugs and alcohol are a factor in nearly one third (29 percent) of all fatal car accident reports in the United States. While drunk driving rates are down significantly since the 1970s and 1980s—the total number of DUI fatalities have dropped by almost 30 percent—far more needs to be done to improve highway safety. More than ten thousand lives are lost in DUI accidents every year. Many thousands more people are hurt in drunk driving crashes.
An Overview of the Prevalence of Drunk Driving in Washington State
According to data published by American Alcohol Centers, approximately 25,000 people are arrested and charged with drunk driving in Washington State each year. For reference, this puts our state about in line with the national average for DUI arrest rates. Of course, many drunk drivers are never caught or cited by the police. Unfortunately, our state’s rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (2.4 per 100,000 residents) is slightly higher than the national average.
Intoxicated driving is not necessarily spread evenly across the state. For a number of different reasons, certain communities are considered to be ‘high risk’ areas for drunk driving. Sadly, Spokane County sees more than its fair share of DUI arrests and DUI accidents. In January of 2020, KREM 2 News reported that drunk driving has been on the rise in Spokane since 2015. To be sure, 1372 DUI charges were filed in Spokane County in 2019 alone.
Call Our Spokane, WA Auto Accident Attorney for Immediate Help
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington motor vehicle accident lawyers are experienced and results-focused advocates for injured victims. We will help you maximize your financial compensation. If you or someone you care about was hurt in a crash with an intoxicated driver, our attorneys are here to help. Contact our law firm now for a free consultation. We handle car accident injury claims in Spokane and all over Eastern Washington.