The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 88,000 people die annually due to alcohol use. This number is greater than fatal overdoses of all drugs combined. According to some, this issue is being obscured due to the nation’s current focus on opioid use. Despite this, Connecticut’s rate of alcohol use has remained relatively steady since the early 2000s.
However, this doesn’t mean that alcohol use is not an issue in the state. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Connecticut has a higher percentage of drunk driving fatalities than any other state in the nation. Of the 278 traffic fatalities in the state in 2017, drunk driving was a factor in 43% of these deaths. The national average that year was 29%.
People may have many excuses for drunk driving. They may not be aware of how inebriated they are, or they may even think they’re better drivers after drinking. However, this reasoning is dangerous not just for the drunk driver, but for all others on the road. Drunk driving breaches a motorist’s legal duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. When this breach causes an innocent motorist to be injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, the victim or his or her family may have grounds to pursue legal action against the drunk driver.
Alcohol use is so ubiquitous in our culture that we often forget that it is a dangerous substance. However, there will always be those who do not appreciate the danger drunk driving poses and will drive under the influence. When a drunk driver causes an accident, it is important that victims of the accident pursue the compensation they need to become whole again.