New York residents may be interested in some statistics regarding accidents involving drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. Nationally, approximately 33 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012 were associated with drunk driving, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In that year, 10,322 people died nationally in these types of crashes. Younger drivers, 21 to 24, were most often involved in fatal crashes, and close to 30 percent of motorcyclists killed in an accident had an elevated BAC level. Overall, drivers who were previously convicted of drunk driving had a seven times higher chance of being killed in an alcohol-related crash.

Recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include measures already in use, such as sobriety checkpoints, enforcing current drunk driving laws and requiring drunk drivers to enter programs for drug and alcohol abuse treatment. Other suggestions include lowering the BAC level to .05 percent and mandatory testing of individuals who are involved in crashes that result in injuries.

When an individual is injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, proving negligence of the driver can be a key to the recovery of damages. Blood alcohol content is one way authorities are able to document that a driver was not reasonably able to drive in a prudent and safe manner. An individual who is injured due to the negligence of another may require medical care as well as suffer lost income. An attorney who has experience in personal injury litigation may use evidence such as police reports, accident data, field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests to determine whether or not to file a claim on behalf of an injured client.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts”, accessed on Jan. 31, 2015