We have all heard the public service announcements, awareness campaign slogans and warnings about the dangers of drunk driving. Unfortunately, these messages still get lost or ignored by people who still make the decision to drive under the influence of alcohol.

This is why it can be especially upsetting if you or a loved one is hurt in a drunk driving accident. After all, it is one type of accident that is completely preventable. But sadly, recent estimates reported by MADD state that more than 300 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Georgia in 2012 and thousands more were injured. 

Statistics like these show just how serious this problem continues to be. They show at a high level that thousands of people and families are affected by drunk driving every year.

To make matters worse, many of the people who are arrested or cause an accident due to intoxication have had issues with alcohol-related driving offenses before. In fact, estimates are that two million people in the U.S. have had at least three offenses stemming from driving while intoxicated, and they are still driving.

This high rate of repeat offenders highlights a couple serious issues. To begin with, it means that current enforcement tactics and penalties are not enough to change behaviors for millions of people. It also shows that millions of drivers, repeat offenders or not, are driving while intoxicated and putting the lives and safety of every other motorist in danger.

These statistics illustrate what a widespread and troubling issue drunk driving continues to be in Georgia and across the country. However, it is important to also remember that the victims of these accidents are not just numbers on a chart. Every person who is injured or has lost a loved one in a crash has unique experiences and has the right to file a claim and pursue compensation for the specific damages that have been suffered

Even if we can’t put an end to all drunk driving accidents, we can hold individual drivers accountable and hopefully prevent that one driver from endangering more lives.

Source: MADD, “About Drunk Driving,” accessed on Sept. 23, 2014