When it comes to drunk driving prevention, Alabama gets a 5-star rating, according to the latest report from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
This was in conjunction with another recently-released study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicates the state had the lowest death rate of alcohol poisoning in the country.
But it isn’t time to raise a glass just yet.
Drunk-driving related fatalities are still a major problem in this state, with a June 2014 analysis ranking the state 17th highest in terms of alcohol-attributable deaths, which include drunk driving.
The latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that of the 865 traffic fatalities reported statewide in 2012, more than one-third (35 percent) were attributable to a drunk driver. In 20 percent of those fatal crashes, the driver had a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.15 percent. In 2013, 37 percent of the overall Alabama traffic deaths involved a drunk driver.
This figure is slightly higher than the national average, which show 31 percent of drivers in fatal crashes were drunk. The total number of alcohol-impaired fatal crashes increased 4.6 percent nationally from 2011 to 2012.
Our Montgomery DUI injury attorneys recognize the good news, as reported by MADD, is that state officials are taking this threat seriously.
The five categories MADD rated included:
- Ignition interlock laws, which require devices that measure drivers’ blood-alcohol level and are installed in offenders’ vehicles;
- Sobriety checkpoints, which involve random stopping of vehicles at a given location to screen drivers for impairment;
- License revocation, which means allowing officers to immediately confiscate an offender’s license to drive upon arrest;
- Child endangerment laws, in which driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle is considered a type of child endangerment;
- No-refusal events, which allow police fast, easy access to an expedited warrant in order to test drivers who refuse to undergo a blood-alcohol screening.
Alabama was one of 13 states to receive a star in each category for a total 5-star rating.
Part of what bolstered the state’s position is the fact that last year lawmakers passed an initiative that expanded ignition interlock laws. Rather than making them optional for first-time convicted drunk drivers, they are now mandatory for anyone convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher – regardless of whether it’s a first-time offense. In so doing, it secured $350,000 in federal grant funding under the MAP-21 initiative, form which a total of $20 million has been made available.
Call Allred & Allred P.C. at 334.396.9200 to speak with a Montgomery personal injury lawyer.
Report to the Nation 2015, January 2015, Mothers Against Drunk Driving
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Grant v. Wiley Sanders Trucking Lines – Deciding Estate Representative for Alabama Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Dec. 30, 2015, Montgomery DUI Injury Lawyer Blog