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Drunk Driving Responsible for 1/3 Automobile Accident Deaths in Virginia

By on November 18, 2011


Almost one out of every three traffic deaths in Virginia are alcohol related.  That equates to approximately 250 deaths due to drunk driving last year alone.  Obviously, our criminal laws are not doing enough to deter drunk driving.  For years I have volunteered at Richmond area high schools teaching young drivers about the legal consequences of drunk driving.  I have spoken to thousands of students at close to a dozen area high schools.   I will never know whether my presentations made a differnce, but I would like to think that they helped convince at least one person not to drink and drive.

Virginia, like most states, has civil remedies for drunk driving.  If a drunk driver causes an accident, you can hire a lawyer to make a claim for damages.  Damages include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.  Those are called compensatory damages.  If the drunk driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) was in excess of .15 you can also seek punitive damages.  Punitive damages, up to $350,000, may be awarded to punish the drunk driver and to deter others from driving drunk. 

If you would like more information about drunk driving, please visit the automobile accident practice section of our website.  We have devoted a portion of it to the legal rights of victims of drunk driving.

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