West Virginia residents 21 and older who are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher will be guilty of drunk driving. This is the legal limit through most of the U.S., though it is considered the highest limit in the world. Some countries, such as Brazil and Russia, have a zero-tolerance policy where no one can drive with alcohol in the blood.
What’s clear is that a 0.08 percent BAC is enough to impair drivers’ reaction times and raise their risk for a crash. Many drunk driving crashes are fatal crashes; in fact, drunk driving fatalities compose about one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. The ones who are most at risk are drivers under the age of 24, motorcyclists, those with prior DUI convictions and those who mix drugs or medications with their alcohol consumption.
Common causes of death in drunk driving crashes are head trauma, blood loss and internal organ damage. The impact of a crash could cause the driver’s head to hit the steering wheel or another hard surface. Flying debris could also cause trauma. Organs can be damaged and bleed if the abdomen is impacted by the steering column or pierced by glass.
For these reasons, it’s important to educate others about drunk driving. Individuals can help by dissuading friends and family from driving drunk.
When car accidents are caused by a driver who was drunk, drowsy, distracted or negligent in some other way, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own may be able to recover damages. Victims may want a lawyer to negotiate on their behalf for the settlement. Auto insurance companies have their own legal team ready to deny all claims, meaning that victims may need to litigate to be covered for their legitimate losses.