The Palmetto State is known for many things. The state of smiling faces and beautiful faces is famous for being home to the largest ginkgo farm on the planet. We host the annual Hell Hole Swamp tobacco spitting contest and Redneck Run. We are the only state in the union to grow tea. And Harriet Tubman led Union troops to Hilton Head, where 800 slaves were liberated. All noteworthy facets of South Carolinian culture, to be sure.
But here’s a fact that is not quite so easy to warm up to: South Carolina tops the list of states in the percentage of drunk driving fatalities. If you lose a loved one to a drunk driving accident, a local attorney may be worth talking to.
Drunk Driving Facts
The numbers tell us just how serious the problem is. Although the national average for fatal accidents involving drunk drivers is 31 percent, South Carolina’s rate is 44 percent.
- Nearly 4,000 deaths occurred due to collisions involving drunk drivers between 2003 and 2012;
- The age group most significantly impacted by fatal accidents involving alcohol is 21-24; they are killed at double the rate of the national average; and
- Males are killed in drunk driving incidents at nearly quadruple the rate of females.
While statistics give us an overview of the seriousness of the problem, they don’t do justice to the actual lives immediately impacted by drunk driving.
- Ryan MacCluen, who lost his life in a motorcycle-vehicle collision involving a drunk driver, was just 31.
- Officer Brandon VanAusdal was en route to a call when his cruiser was slammed by another vehicle. Both VanAusdala and his K-9 partner were killed.
How to Impact the Problem
A number of interventions have been proven to impact drunk driving fatalities:
- Strong DUI laws;
- Zero tolerance laws prohibit any measurable amounts of alcohol for drivers below age 21;
- Legal checkpoints set up to check driver impairment give law enforcement officers the opportunity to stop vehicles and administer breathalyzer tests when they have cause to suspect inebriation;
- Education campaigns inform citizens of the dangers associated with impaired driving;
- School programs target youth with information before they hit driving age;
- Treatment programs assists individuals who struggle with addiction;
- Ignition interlock systems prevent individuals from driving with a blood alcohol level that exceeds 0.02 percent. They are generally court ordered for people who have previous drunk driving convictions.
After an Accident
If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver, there is no amount of restitution that can heal the wounds. Nonetheless, the burden of medical costs, funeral costs, lost wages and associated expenses should not overwhelm victims. Let the experienced legal team at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm take the reins and help you through this difficult time. The initial consultation is free and confidential.