It’s a sad fact that despite all of the laws and our solid knowledge that drunk driving kills, people still drive drunk. Any driver over the age of 21 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts with a blood alcohol content of .08% or above is considered legally drunk. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States, according the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, your world may still be spinning. We understand the devastation that arises from this type of accident, injury, or death that could have easily been prevented. You’re not alone.

Drunk Driving Laws are in force and enforced.

In 2014, Rhode Island had 24 drunk driving fatalities, representing 36.9% of all total traffic deaths. Rhode Island laws have helped to decrease drunk driving incidences. Recent drunk driving laws include:

  • Vehicular Homicide – provides for penalties to be brought against a drunk driver who kills another person through the operation of a motor vehicle, either intentionally or negligently.
  • Social Host – allows for adults to be held responsible for furnishing alcohol to those under 21 years old.
  • DUI Felony – makes DUI/DWI a felony offense based on the number of prior convictions.
  • DUI Child Endangerment – allows for additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction with a child passenger in a vehicle.
  • .08 Per Se Law – makes it illegal for those over 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle at or above .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration.
  • Ignition Interlocks – requires all repeat and first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater to have an ignition interlock installed.

Massachusetts has shown an improvement in drunk driving fatalities from previous years, with 118 drunk driving fatalities, representing 36.2% of all total traffic deaths, a 8.5% decrease from 2013. Current Massachusetts drunk driving laws include:

  • Vehicular Homicide – provides for penalties to be brought against a drunk driver who kills another person through the operation of a motor vehicle, either intentionally or negligently.
  • Social Host – allows for adults to be held responsible for furnishing alcohol to those under 21 years old.
  • Sobriety Checkpoints – enforcement programs that allow officers to stop all or predetermined vehicles to check for sobriety of the drivers.
  • Mandatory BAC Test for Drivers Who are Killed – creates mandatory testing for all drivers killed in vehicle crashes.
  • Ignition Interlocks – allows for a judge or administrative agency to order a convicted drunk driver to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for a period of time following a conviction for drunk driving.
  • DUI Felony – makes DUI/DWI a felony offense based on the number of prior convictions.
  • DUI Child Endangerment – allows for additional penalties for a drunk driving conviction with a child passenger in a vehicle.
  • Dram Shop – assigns liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third parties as a result of alcohol-related crashes.
  • Administrative License Revocation – allows for the removal of a DUI/DWI offender’s driver’s license at the time of an arrest upon the failure or refusal of a chemical test.
  • .08 Per Se Law – makes it illegal for those over 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle at or above .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration.

Drunk Driving Causes Car Accidents

Car accidents can have many different causes, but alcohol increases the rate and severity of auto accidents. This is often because drunk drivers are not in control of their vehicles, have slower reaction times and can confuse the brake and accelerator pedals.

It’s disturbing to note that the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people. According to the CDC, among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 % or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2013, one out of every 3 were between 21 and 24 years of age (33%). The next two largest groups were ages 25 to 34 (29%) and 35 to 44 (24%). Of the 1,149 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2013, 200 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

Our Car Accident Attorneys Hold Drunk Drivers Fully Responsible for Their Actions.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a drunk driving accident, the experienced car accident attorneys at the Bottaro Law Firm can help you recover monetary compensation for your loss. Our “No Fee Guarantee” means that there is never a charge to for the time spent on your case unless and until we achieve success. Contact us anytime 24/7 for a free consultation.