With the emergence of smartphones and their effect on distracted driving fatalities, it is easy to let our guard down when being vigilant in the fight against drunk drivers. The Oregon automobile accident attorneys at Shlesinger & deVilleneuve represent people who have been injured and the loved ones of those killed in automobile accidents due to the negligence of drunk and drugged drivers. Distracted driving has overtaken DWII fatalities as the number one cause of death on our highways, but that has done nothing to lessen the number of DWII fatalities. If anything, texting while driving under the influence of alcohol makes the probability of being involved in a fatal accident that much greater.
Every day about 30 people are killed by the negligence of drunk drivers. Each year 10,000 are killed and another 300,000 injured in drunk driving accidents. About one-third of all highway fatalities are due to drunk driving. The average driver pays approximately $800 more per year to drive in order to subsidize drunk drivers, and the total cost nationally is almost $200 billion. A driver is twice as likely to be killed in a DWI related motor vehicle accident on the weekend than during the week. About one-third of all DWI fatalities happen to people aged 21-24, one-third in the age group 25-34, and twenty-five percent in the age group 35 to 44. Overall, about one-third of all alcohol-related fatalities were passengers in the vehicle or the other vehicle.
Since 2007, Oregon has implemented many tougher laws in an effort to combat drunk driving. One such law was the mandatory ignition interlock law that has contributed to reducing drunk driving fatalities in the state by 30%. Statutes are now on the books that require the use of Interlocks for all first time convicted DUI offenders. Source: http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/state-stats/Oregon.html
In addition, the law has been strengthened to elevate the penalty for DUI/DWI to a felony based on the number of prior convictions. There is an additional penalty for being convicted of DWII if a child is in the car. Dram shop laws have been implemented to hold drinking establishments liable for DWII accidents arising from the sale of alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. Unfortunately, these law have become more complicated and difficult to pursue and certainly requires diligent evidence gathering early in the claim.
If you have been injured or have had a loved one, or loved ones killed in an automobile accident due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you could be facing medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Shlesinger & deVilleneuve, we have assembled a team of skilled, experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys that can get you the financial compensation that you deserve.