Drunk Driving Crashes Are on the Rise in Washington

Regardless of the laws and regulations put in place to prevent DUIs and drunk driving accidents, they continue to be on the rise across Washington and other areas throughout the United States. When drivers choose to drive while drunk or intoxicated, they not only put their own lives at risk, but they are also putting other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk of severe and life-threatening injuries. However, many Washington drivers choose to ignore these possibilities and still get behind the wheel while drunk.

According to an article released by King 5 News in March, the Washington State Patrol had already handled more than 500 drunk driving accidents within the first few months of 2023. The number of drunk driving accidents in Washington is expected to surpass the 2,900 that occurred in the state in 2022 by the end of this year. In fact, each year since 2019, the number of drunk driving accident reports the Washington State Patrol receives increases.

When you look back at the data gathered by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission over a decade ago (in 2012), you will see that there were only about 250 fatalities involving drunk and intoxicated drivers. However, this number has almost doubled, as there were 413 fatalities involving drunk and intoxicated drivers in Washington in 2021.Washington State Trooper Robert Reyer told King 5 News that alcohol is the cause of 57 percent of these fatalities, and that drugs accounted for 43 percent of the fatalities as well.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission also recently stated that Washington experienced the highest number of traffic fatalities in 2022 than the state has seen in over three decades. More than700 lives were lost on Washington highways and roads last year, and driving while drunk or intoxicated accounted for “more than half” of these deaths.

Why is drunk driving dangerous?

Alcohol works as a type of sedative, which means that it can severely affect a person’s ability to stay awake, focus, or make decisions. Therefore, alcohol should never be consumed before or while driving. If it is, the driver will lack the cognitive ability to safely drive a vehicle. In addition, alcohol can seriously delay an individual’s reaction times, meaning that if an accident, construction zone, or traffic event were to arise, the driver would not be able to act quickly enough to avoid a collision.

The types of injuries that result from drunk driving accidents

When a drunk driving accident occurs, sudden and permanent injuries often emerge. The following are some of the most common injuries that result from these types of auto accidents:

  • Head and skull injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (concussion, contusion, diffuse axonal, coup-contrecoup, etc.)
  • Amputations or loss of limbs
  • Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Back or spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Severe cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Neck injuries and whiplash
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Death

The law on drunk driving in Kennewick, WA

According to RCW 46.61.502, “a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, cannabis, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state.” It is against the law to drive while drunk or intoxicated.

In Kennewick and other cities in Washington, drivers who are pulled over for drunk driving will be required to take a breath or blood test. Individuals driving a passenger vehicle who are 21 and older cannot have a blood-alcohol level over .08. For commercial trucks, the limit is .04. If you are found driving while impaired, there is a very good chance that you will be charged with a DUI. When this happens, your driver’s license will be suspended unless you request a trial hearing and can prove that you were not drunk driving. If you fail to do this, your license will be suspended for between 90 days and two years. If you receive a DUI conviction in your court hearing, your license could be suspended for up to four years.

How can a Kennewick drunk driving accident lawyer help with my case?

We know that you’re probably a little overwhelmed after any car accident, but a drunk driving crash can be especially difficult. We also know that time isn’t always on your side – and that it can feel  like the medical bills will never stop coming.

Don’t worry. We’ve got your back.

A drunk driving accident attorney from Telaré Law is experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled when it comes to drunk or drugged driving crashes. Our team has built a strong reputation around Kennewick, and we have what it takes to fight for the compensation you need to recover and get your life back on track. We:

  • Listen to your experience
  • Analyze the facts of your case
  • Investigate the accident
  • Review all accident and medical reports
  • Collect all appropriate evidence
  • File a claim or lawsuit on your behalf
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Prepare to go to court if necessary

If you or a family member were injured in a drunk driving accident, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Telaré Law in Kennewick immediately. We know and understand that this is a traumatic and devastating time for you, which is why we will do everything we can to help you navigate the legal process and handle the challenges and difficulties that arise. Call our drunk driving accident lawyers or submit our contact form today. We maintain an additional office in Richland.

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