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Drunk driving and motor vehicle accidents in Illinois

Drunk driving is an unfortunate reality in Illinois. It affects people in large communities like Chicago as well as small towns throughout the state. Many people personally know someone who has been affected by drunk driving or who has been the victim of a drunk driving accident.

According to statistics released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, 321 people died in Illinois in 2012 from drunk driving-related motor vehicle accidents. That works out to about 2.5 people per 100,000 individuals throughout the state's population. Twenty-six people under the age of 21 were killed by drunk drivers during that year.

In many cases the impaired drivers in the relevant accidents were repeat drunk driving offenders. Of drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit but under .15, 25 percent had prior drunk driving offenses on their records. In the case of drivers whose blood alcohol concentrations were .15 or over, 75 percent had previous alcohol-related driving crimes in their histories.

While drunk driving fatalities across the state dropped nearly 38 percent between 2002 and 2012, there is still a lot of room for improvement for the residents of Illinois. Law enforcement officials are doing their best to keep local roads safe for everyone and to prevent drunk drivers from creating dangerous situations for other motorists. However, negligent drivers still plague many communities and more innocent individuals will likely suffer before drunk driving accidents are eradicated across the state.

When innocent people are hurt by drunk drivers they have options for legal recourse. The criminal justice system may punish the wrongdoers through criminal charges and penalties. The civil justice system, however, can give victims a chance to pursue compensation for the damages they incur at the hands of dangerous, drunk motorists.

Source: Responsibility.org, "2012 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatality Data," Accessed on August 19, 2014

Source: Responsibility.org, "2012 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatality Data," Accessed on August 19, 2014

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