Archive for January, 2014

Buffalo DUI Accidents – How to Reduce the Risks

Jan 2014

Drunk driving remains a major cause of injury and death in the U.S., despite the fact that a lot of progress has been made to reduce the number of people dying due to intoxicated motorists. Just recently, the Republic indicated that a western New York driver was sentenced to between one and three years of prison time because of a fatal drunk driving accident that he caused while driving southwest of Buffalo. Statewide in New York throughout 2012, a total of 344 people were killed by drunk drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

These incidents in Buffalo aren’t the only ones that occur annually. A total of 40 percent of all fatal collisions in the country result from the actions of intoxicated drivers. Someone is killed in a drunk driving collision every 30 minutes. Drunk driving injuries happen even more frequently, with someone getting hurt once every two minutes.

Reducing the serious risk of injury or death remains a top priority and the National Safety Council (NSC) recently published some important information on different techniques that have been effectively used to stop drunk driving. Drunk driving accident lawyers in Buffalo know that laws and regulations can only do so much, even if they are relatively effective. Ultimately, the choice rests with every driver to make a decision to call a cab or call a friend rather than drive home drunk. Making the right choice could save a life.

Techniques to Reduce Intoxicated Driving

The techniques that the NSC discussed to reduce the risk of intoxicated driving included:

  • Screenings and brief intervention. More than 360 different studies in the past have shown that screening and intervention are the lowest cost effective methods of intervening when people have alcohol problems. Employers are often in the best position to offer screenings and can do so as part of employee benefit programs and also to reduce the risk of liability that could result from an employee causing an accident while drunk on the job. Screening and brief intervention can help people with alcohol problems to get the treatment they need and reduce the chances of high-risk behaviors like drunken driving.
  • Public enforcement of drunk driving laws. Everyone knows that drunk driving is illegal, but highly-visible enforcement reminds drivers of how easy it is for them to get caught. Sobriety check points are one possible method of public enforcement, but campaigns around the holidays such as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” also are effective at reducing intoxicated driving since motorists become more aware that there are a lot of police on the roads enforcing the laws.
  • Ignition interlock devices. These stop cars from starting when a driver has a BAC that is above the legal limit. The National Transportation Safety Board has recently been recommended that IIDs be required for all motorists convicted of driving drunk, even first-time offenders. Around 1/3 of people who are arrested driving drunk each year had already been convicted of an intoxicated driving offense in the past, so an IID could go a long way towards stopping repeat offenders and making the roads safer.

These are just some of the different techniques that could help to reduce the risks that drunk drivers present on the roads. Those who are injured in accidents with an intoxicated motorist also need to understand their legal rights and take action to hold the drunken driver accountable for injuries.

Contact the Law Offices of James Morris in Buffalo today for a free consultation. Call 800-477-9044. Attorney advertising.