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Can Car Accidents Caused By Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Be Prevented?

  • By: Law Office of Mark B. Morse
  • Published: January 13, 2020
Can Car Accidents Caused By Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Be Prevented?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), impaired driving caused more than 10,000 traffic fatalities in 2018 — accounting for nearly 30 deaths each day.

The good news is: road deaths caused by impaired driving have been significantly reduced since 1982. The bad news: high-risk impaired drivers (HRIDs) continue to put lives in danger.

In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said in a recent report, that:

  • Drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 0.15% or greater cause more than 60% of DUI-related fatalities each year
  • Repeat DUI offenders cause about one-third of all DUI-related fatalities each year
  • Over the past 10 years, there has been a 16 percent increase in road deaths caused by drivers who test positive for both alcohol and drugs

A Call For “Individualized Justice”

In the report entitled “High-Risk Impaired Drivers: Combating a Critical Threat,” the GHSA has teamed up with Responsibility.org (advocates for alcohol responsibility) to propose a “systematic” and “holistic” approach to curtailing DUI-related crashes caused by HRIDs.

The GHSA is offering assistance to State Highway Safety Offices across the U.S. They want to establish individualized justice, as opposed to the way our justice system currently handles DUI cases.

“The traditional criminal justice approach holds these offenders accountable for each impaired driving incident, but to ensure that these high-risk impaired drivers don’t re-offend, we need to expand our approach beyond detection, arrest and conviction,” said Darrin Grondel, Chair of GHSA.

This approach involves identifying the root cause of the behavior of HRIDs. Then, offer inclusive treatment to help these individuals reduce or end their pattern of behavior. This approach doesn’t just apply to drunk drivers, but also includes those impaired by drugs.

What Is A High-Risk Impaired Driver?

According to the GHSA, an HRID is a person who “lacks the restraint or self-control to resist driving impaired.”

HRIDs are drivers who:

  • Test for a BAC level of 0.015 percent or higher
  • Are polysubstance users — drivers who use both drugs and alcohol
  • Have been arrested more than once for driving drunk

Many HRIDs suffer from substance use disorders or mental health disorders, according to the Cambridge Health Alliance at Harvard Medical School.

From 2013-2017, DUI-related fatalities in Rhode Island have been consistently higher than the U.S. national average. In 2017, approximately 41 percent of statewide traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver — the national average was 29 percent.

HRIDs know the risk they are taking when they drive impaired. When their actions result in someone’s injury or death, they should be held accountable. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a crash with an impaired driver, you have the right to take legal action. Having The Law Office of Mark B. Morse on your side can give you the advantage you need to pursue a strong legal claim and maximize your compensation.

To get started, contact us online or call us at (401) 831-0555.

Mark B. Morse, Esq.

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