With the holiday season in full swing, many New Yorkers are spending time with their family and friends and numerous visitors have entered the state. Many social gatherings that they will attend over the next two weeks, whether they occur in private residences or in public spaces, will have alcohol present. Unfortunately, there will be individuals who will choose to drink and drive. As this month is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, it seems fitting to talk about the seriousness of driving while impaired.
According to a recent report, in the last two decades, roughly 17,000 people in the United States lost their lives due to the actions of drunk drivers. Over 700,000 people suffered injuries in auto collisions which were alcohol-related. It is believed that three out of every 10 Americans will be involved in a drunk driving-related accident at some point in their lifetime.
A number of organizations attempt to educate the public about the dangers of driving while impaired, but it still a significant problem in New York and around the country. Every year, law enforcement officials arrest over 1.5 million individuals for driving while impaired. These accidents and arrests could stop if people who choose to drink would also choose ahead of time not to drive.
Sadly, this holiday season, drunk and drugged driving-related accidents are going to happen. They do every year. The victims of these accidents or -- in the event of fatality -- their surviving family members may suffer significant economic and noneconomic damages as a result. Thankfully, it may be possible for these individuals to seek compensation for their losses with the assistance of legal counsel.