Drunk Driving Deaths Up 30% Across NY Since 2019
According to testimony from the New York State Police at a legislative hearing, the number of people who have died as a result of drunk driving accidents has increased by 30% since 2019. The police also testified that 13% of all traffic related arrests they made last year involved drug- or alcohol-related accidents. The hearing also discussed the need to increasingly address the issue of people driving while under the influence of marijuana, which has become more common since the drug was legalized in 2021.
Dramatic Increase in Drunk Driving Deaths
The number of people killed as a result of drunk driving in New York increased from 262 deaths in 2019, to 335 deaths in 2022. This is approximately a 30% increase in the number of people dying in drunk driving accidents over the course of three years. This is a result of an estimated 7,000 alcohol-related crashes that occurred across the state in the last year alone, which was also up significantly from previous years.
Need For More Education and Enforcement
Part of the key reasons cited for this substantial increase in the number of drunk driving deaths was a lack of education and enforcement. In particular, high school and college age drivers may not be getting the information they need to learn to drive safely and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, enforcement of many traffic violations, including DUI laws, dropped off during the pandemic, and enforcement efforts have only now begun to recover.
Efforts to Make DUI Laws Tougher
There are also increased efforts to make DUI laws even more strict than they are right now. For example, one proposed bill, known as Andrew’s Law, would make it a violent felony if someone seriously injures or kills another in a drunk driving accident, and impose consecutive sentences for multiple deaths in the same accident. There has also been proposed legislation to reduce the threshold for legal impairment for alcohol use, which would make someone legally intoxicated at a mere .05 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), with a .12 BAC qualifying someone for an aggravated DWI.
Increased Concern Over Marijuana Impairment
In addition to issues related to drunk driving, there are also concerns over the increased prevalence of marijuana intoxication and driving. The issue has become more pertinent since marijuana became legalized in New York in 2021, which led to more people getting behind the wheel while high on pot. Right now, the police lack the resources to test for marijuana intoxication in drivers, making the job of prosecuting marijuana-related DUIs more difficult.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, seeking the advice from an attorney experienced in personal injury law will help assure you get the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Levine and Slavit, PLLC assist clients in New York City and Long Island in obtaining the damages they need to cope with being the victim of negligence. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our New York personal injury lawyers, call (888) LAW-8088 or fill out our contact form.