Despite continued efforts by law enforcement to catch drunk drivers and by authorities to educate the public on the dangers of driving while intoxicated, drunk driving is still a considerable problem across the country. Every day, thousands of people are injured or killed in drunk driving accidents. The most recent statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that in 2014, 163 people were killed in alcohol-related auto accidents in New Jersey.
Drunk drivers with more than one conviction, as well as those with high blood alcohol contents, are a significant cause for concern. According to AAA, drivers involved in fatal accidents were seven times likelier to have had prior DUI convictions than those who were not drinking and involved in a crash. Also, drivers with multiple drunk driving offenses on their record are approximately 1.4 times more at risk of getting into a fatal accident than a driver with no prior convictions.
How many drunk drivers are repeat offenders? According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, about a third of all drunk driving arrests, accidents, injuries and fatalities involve a person with more than one DUI conviction. At any given time, about two million drivers with three or more drunk driving convictions are on the roads. Some have had 10 or more convictions, yet continue to drive despite having had their licenses taken away. In fact, up to 75 percent of drivers with revoked licenses continue to get behind the wheel.
Some authorities say that strengthening ignition interlock laws is one of the most promising ways to keep repeat drunk drivers off the roads. Ignition interlock devices will not allow a vehicle to be started if the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath. However, this problem is not likely to go away soon. Those who have been injured by a drunk driver may find it helpful to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney.