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Drunk Driving Car Accident Wrongful Deaths Increase As Arrest Rates Drop

Alcohol- related car accident death numbers have increased significantly even as the number of arrests have dropped.

In 2022, according to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to 13,500 people died in auto accidents caused by an impaired driver.  That  was almost the same as the numbers in 2021, but a was 33% higher than in   2019. The numbers in 2022 were the highest on record since 2006.

During  the same period of time, there  was  a significant drop in the number of arrests made for DUI around the country. In 2019, police made close to a million arrests for DUI around the US while that number dropped to just 788,000 arrests  in 2022.  During the pandemic,  police departments across the country suffered staffing shortages which made it harder for them to enforce DUI laws and  arrest violators.

It is hard to say whether there is a direct correlation between the increase  in the number of people being killed in alcohol -related car accidents and the drop in the number of people being arrested for these offences, purely from these results.  However,  it is clear that lack of enforcement  is a driving factor that encourages rash and irresponsible driving behaviors like driving under the influence of alcohol.

At some departments across the country, the strain on limited police resources is beginning to ease,  but there are other challenges that could possibly inhibit officers’ rights to  stop drivers. Specifically, the harsh spotlight on traffic stop arrests and violence by police officers has reduced the appetite of the public for traffic stops.  This makes it harder for officers to pull motorists over if the officer believes the motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol.  That  further  reduces the number of arrests, and ensures that motorists driving under the influence of alcohol continue to be free to operate vehicles on the road,  posing  a threat to themselves and others.

Even as police departments struggle to meet these challenges, it is important for you as a motorist to drive safely and responsibly.  Never drive after a few drinks, and if you are in doubt about your driving abilities, simply get someone to drive you, use Uber or Lyft, or take a taxi. If you are in a group and have been drinking, get one person to be the designated driver who will avoid drinking and will be responsible for driving all of you home.  If you are driving and see a motorist driving aggressively or veering   between lanes, place distance between your vehicle and his car. Of course, you should also contact the police.

The  Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia. If you  or a loved one have suffered injuries  in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.  You  may qualify for damages that include medical costs, lost income   and other forms of compensation.  Talk  to an attorney at our firm and. discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.   

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