Strategies for Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents in North Carolina
In the decade running from 2003 to 2012, drunk driving accidents in North Carolina claimed a total of 4,102 lives. That’s an average of 410 deaths a year, far too many for a state our size. Sadly, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2012, North Carolina was above the national average for the rate of deaths per 100,000 population in every age category:
- Age zero to 20 — The national average was 1.3 and NC’s average was 1.7
- Age 21 to 34 — The national average was 6.7 and NC’s average was 8.0
- Age 35 and over — The national average was 3.1 and NC’s average was 4.0
- All ages — The national average was 3.3 and NC’s average was 4.2
North Carolina had more males killed per 100,000 population (6.8 statewide to 5.2 nationally), as well as more females killed (1.7 statewide to 1.5 nationally).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests several strategies for reducing incidents of drunk driving, including:
- Sobriety checkpoints —Law enforcement’s use of checkpoints in highly visible locations serves to remind the community of the dangers posed by impaired driving and succeeds in taking impaired drivers off the road before they cause a car accident.
- Ignition interlocks — These devices make it impossible for a driver who is impaired by alcohol to start a car’s engine. North Carolina failed to pass mandatory ignition interlock legislation in 2014.
- Mass media campaigns — Publicizing the dangers of drunk driving is an important element in a prevention program.
- Administrative license revocation (ALR) or suspension — North Carolina is one of 42 states that have implemented ALR. A driver’s license is confiscated immediately if blood alcohol content is above .08 percent or if the driver refuses a BAC test.
- School-based instructional programs — Impaired driving prevention should be an integral part of driver education.
While these measures are important on the state and community levels, it’s more important that each motorist make an individual commitment not to drink and drive.
At the Law Offices of Brian deBrun, PLLC, we’ve seen the terrible harm that can come from impaired driving. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, call us to schedule a free consultation at 704-412-4258 or contact our office online.