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Drunk drivers still pose significant risk in Illinois

With the holiday season in full swing, many Illinois residents find themselves at gatherings of family and friends where food and drink are had in large quantities. Though this is a festive time of year for many, for others it is a treacherous and even deadly period. One reason is because, during the holidays, far too many individuals choose to drink and drive. In a split second, these drunk drivers can swerve into oncoming traffic, fail to stop at a traffic signal, or speed so excessively that they are unable to safely stop to prevent an accident.

The statistics surrounding drunk and drugged driving are staggering. Every day, nearly 300,000 people drive while intoxicated. Unfortunately, though, only about 4,000 of these people are arrested. And drunk driving can impact any age group. In fact, one study found that nearly 50 percent of 10th graders drink alcohol. With a large portion of these kids able to drive, it is likely that a significant amount of them are driving drunk.

Also frightening is the prevalence of drugged driving. In 2012, for example, more than 10 million individuals reported that they had driven while under the influence of an illegal drug in the past year. This is worrisome, to say the least, as drugged driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Though local law enforcement agencies have attempted to curtail drunk driving by setting up more checkpoints and increasing their patrols, their efforts do nothing to help those who have already been hurt in a drunk driving accident. In many cases, these individuals need compensation for their financial losses and as a way to impose liability on the negligent driver who harmed them. A successful negligence lawsuit may also allow a victim to recover monetary awards for his or her pain and suffering, allowing him or her to feel as if they got as fair of a resolution as possible and allowing them to focus on moving forward.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "Statistics," accessed on Nov. 28, 2015

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