For many decades now, people who live in Virginia have heard about the dangers of drinking and driving. The fact that a person has a reduced ability to make proper decisions or react appropriately when operating a vehicle after they have consumed alcohol is nothing new. Yet, despite knowing this and despite strong laws, far too many people choose to ignore these realities and jump in their vehicles to drive while drunk.
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of people who were killed in drunk driving accidents in Virginia in 2017 increased over the prior year. This was actually the second consecutive increase in drunk driving fatalities statewide. In 2015, 205 people lost their lives in crashes involving alcohol. In 2016, that number rose to 223 and in 2017, it rose again to 246.
In Roanoke County, 10 out of 36 vehicular fatalities from 2013 through 2017 involved alcohol. Neighboring counties also continue to experience a problem with drunk driving. In these five years, another 62 people died in alcohol-related accidents across Franklin, Floyd, Montgomery, Craig, Botetourt and Bedford Counties. Clearly, the work that has been done to date to keep people safe from the actions of reckless drunk drivers has not been sufficient. This leaves many families to find ways to seek their own justice or compensation after an accident happens.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Virginia an idea of how serious the ongoing problems associated with drunk driving throughout the state really are.