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Study—Drunk Driving Fatalities Are Under Reported

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According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Georgia DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

According to a new study by the U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, drunk driving fatalities may be underreported nationwide. Researchers analyzed data from the NHTSA and death certificates for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of those killed in auto accidents between 1999 and 2009. Upon cross-checking the researchers noticed a discrepancy: data from the NHTSA showed that 21 percent of those killed in auto accidents had a BAC above the legal limit, only 3 percent of death certificates cited alcohol or drunk driving as a cause of death.

A possible explanation is that it can take several days to get a BAC reading from a blood test and death certificates are usually filed within five days of a fatality. States also have different rules about checking for drunk driving in accidents; only about half of the states automatically require checking a driver's BAC after a fatal crash.

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Peachtree City DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.

Category: DUI Victims

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia

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