Harsh Winter Weather and Impaired Drivers Combine to Make North Dakota Highways the Most Dangerous in the U.S.
North Dakota motor vehicle drivers have the highest risk of being in a fatal accident with a drunk driver than drivers in any other state. A recent study listed North Dakota as the state with the most car accident deaths and the highest number of arrests for driving under the influence. Those involved in conducting the study and producing the report point to high levels of alcohol consumption and dangerous road conditions during harsh winters as the factors combining to place vehicle occupants and pedestrians at risk when they travel.
The rankings cited by the report were based upon statistical data collected about a number of factors the researchers believed contributed to making roads and highways dangerous. Factors taken into consideration in ranking include:
- Blood Alcohol Content Levels: The legal limit for intoxication throughout the U.S. is a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher. A breath or blood test revealing a motorist’s BAC to be at least 0.08 percent is presumptive evidence of intoxication.
- Arrests: The study took into account the total number of DUI arrests in each state for both adults and minors.
- DUI Penalties: The degree to which a state imposes punishment of motorists convicted of driving while under the influence was a factor in gauging the deterrent effect on drivers.
- Cost Per Fatality: It is estimated that alcohol-related car accidents cost $132 billion a year based in terms of the cost to the victims, property damage and cost to the taxpayers.
- Laws in Each State: How each state addresses the issue of drunk driving through statutes and laws was taken into consideration. For example, laws requiring the use of an ignition interlock device after a conviction could deter repeat DUI offenses. The devices will not allow a vehicle to start unless the driver breathes into the device and no alcohol is detected.
In an effort to cut down on the number young motorists who might end up driving while under the influence, law enforcement agencies in North Dakota are focusing their attention during prom and graduation season on underage drinkers. Underage drinkers caught consuming or in possession of alcohol will face criminal charges and fines.
Besides the use of criminal statutes to curtail the consumption of alcohol, there are civil remedies available to individuals injured in an accident with someone who was driving while under the influence of alcohol. The state’s dram shop law gives a person injured by someone who is intoxicated the right to sue the business or individual who provided the alcoholic beverages. Anyone providing alcohol to an obviously intoxicated adult or to a person who is under 21 years of age can be sued for damages by the victim of an accident caused by the person to whom the alcohol was given.
At the Larson Law Firm, P.C., our Minot drunk driving accident attorneys assist individuals injured in accidents caused by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol. We fight to recover medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs and other damages. Call our Minot office today at 701-484-4878 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. You can also schedule an appointment through our website.