Drunk driving realities in Minneapolis

Hennepin County lost more lives to drunk drivers in 2013 than any other county in all of Minnesota with a total of 16 such fatalities.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., drunk driving claims as many as 16,000 lives every year. The month of April is designated as Alcohol Awareness Month and is a good time for all Minneapolis residents to renew their awareness of the true risk that drunk driving poses to all.

The irresponsible consumption of alcohol can be seen at play all too easily in news headlines on a regular basis. Some recent stories include the following:

  • A bicyclist was killed after being struck by a van driven by a drunk driver. According to the Star Tribune report, the 50-year old driver has pled guilty to criminal vehicular homicide charges.
  • A 35-year old man has also pled guilty to multiple charges relating to his involvement in a drunk driving accident that killed another motorist according to the Star Tribune.
  • A TwinCities.com story provided details on the arrest of a 30-year old woman found to have a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. Reports indicate she was driving her vehicle with four passengers inside at high speeds. After colliding with another vehicle she ran into a restaurant.
  • A 34-year old woman lost her life in a motor vehicle accident when she was hit by a drunk 25-year old driver. The victim was stopped at a red light at the time of the accident. The Star Tribune reports that the other driver is in jail without bail.

These are just a smattering of stories that can be found highlighting how common drunk driving is in Minnesota.

Hennepin County realities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics for 2013 show a total of 387 motor vehicle fatalities in Minnesota that year. Of those, 95 resulted from accidents involving alcohol. In Hennepin County, a total of 42 lives were lost in all automotive accidents. Drunk driving was attributed to 16 of those deaths.

No other county in Minnesota lost as many lives to drunk drivers that year as did Hennepin County. The county with the next highest drunk driving fatality rate was Dakota County with four such deaths.

How can residents be protected?

Certainly it is important to always be aware of apparent dangers and respond appropriately. Defensive driving techniques can be part of these situations. However, there are times when accidents cannot be avoided and victims are injured or even killed. When this happens, those involved or their loved ones should seek legal help promptly.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury