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Impaired driving prevention gets its own month

The Trump administration has designated December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, which should interest those in Minnesota who wonder what they can do to lower the number of fatalities due to alcohol. Many are not aware that having even one drink could qualify as impairment, so it's important to also raise awareness of the trend.

The proclamation, which President Trump signed on November 30, 2017, contains many sobering statistics. In America, alcohol-related accidents lead to an average of one fatality every 50 minutes. In 2012, 4.2 million adults admitted that they drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the 30 days preceding the survey.

Alcohol, according to the proclamation, once contributed to as much as two-thirds of traffic fatalities 40 years ago. Though greater awareness led to a gradual decrease, the trend is once again on the rise. In 2016, for instance, 28 percent of traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver; this translates to over 10,000 deaths.

The Trump administration has been supporting the efforts of ride-hailing service providers as well as manufacturers of self-driving vehicles, even removing harmful regulations that slowed down their development. Responsibility, the document stresses, lies ultimately with the individual. Thus, everyone is encouraged to work with families, friends, churches, schools, and community organizations to keep people from driving while intoxicated.

The consequences of DUI can extend beyond criminal charges. If the driver causes a car accident, he or she will be liable for any losses that the victim incurred, including medical expenses, vehicle repair expenses, and pain and suffering. The victim may even sue for punitive damages as a way to punish the other driver for recklessness. When filing a claim, it's essential to retain a lawyer. Lawyers may be able to assess a claim, have experts conduct an accident investigation, and handle all negotiations.

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Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, PA

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