According to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking and driving among teens has been cut in half the last 20 years; a drop largely attributed to stricter drunk driving laws.
Given that teen drinking and driving is a contributing factor in more than 800 deaths each year, according to the CDC, hopefully this reduction will result in fewer deaths and car accidents not only nationwide but specifically here in Pennsylvania.
Teen Drunk Driving Study
The CDC study noted that in 2011 only 10.3 percent of high school students aged 16 and above claimed to have driven after drinking in the prior 30 days ― compared to 22.3 percent in 1991, a roughly 54 percent drop.
Tragically, despite the drop, car accidents are still the leading cause of death among 16 to 19-year-olds, according to the CDC. It also doesn’t help that even with the recent teen drunk driving decrease the CDChas revealed that high school students still drink and drive roughly 2.4 million times each month.
In addition, during 2010 roughly one in five teen drivers involved in deadly car accidents had at least some alcohol in their system. What is even more frightening is that an astonishing 81 percent of these teen drivers had blood alcohol levels higher than the adult legal limit at the time of the accident, according to the CDC.
Unfortunately, given these numbers it seems evident that teen drunk driving accidents will continue to occur. What is important to realize, however, is that there are remedies available for those injured by drunk teens who decide to get behind the wheel.
Not only can a drunk driver be held criminally liable, but they can be held liable in civil court. Those injured by a drunk driver can seek damages in a civil lawsuit to compensate themselves for the loss they suffered at the hands of the drunk driver.
For example, a person injured by a drunk driver can seek damages to cover medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Moreover, victims in Pennsylvania can seek punitive damages ― which are damages awarded to a victim above the amount of actual losses in order to punish the drunk driver for his or her actions.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, it is important to contact an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to be advised of your rights and options. Not only can an attorney help provide guidance, but they can assist in investigating and collecting the necessary evidence needed to prove your case.