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How common are drunk driving accidents in West Virginia?

All drivers in Charleston should be aware that consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is not a good mix. Although most people learn about the dangers of drunk driving before even getting a license, some drivers fail to adhere to West Virginia law when it comes to drinking and driving. Hence, it is not uncommon for news stories to cover car accidents involving drunk driving, but just how big of a problem is drinking and driving?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day throughout the country, an average of nearly 30 people die from accidents involving a driver who is impaired by alcohol. In West Virginia alone, data from a recent 10-year period shows that on average, almost 110 people die each year in drunk driving accidents.

When a person's blood-alcohol content is 0.08% or higher, they are impaired and cannot drive under West Virginia law. However, even if a person's BAC is below the legal limit, they may still have enough alcohol in their system to affect their driving abilities.

In addition to the possible criminal penalties of driving while under the influence of alcohol, people who drink and drive can be held accountable in a civil proceeding. Thus, victims and their families can pursue claims against drunk drivers for any damages that result from an accident.

People who drink and drive cause tens of thousands of fatal accidents each year, not to mention innumerable serious injuries. Even though the risks of drunk driving are well-known, some people will continue to engage in this dangerous behavior. When it leads to an accident, injured parties should pursue their legal rights against the drunk driver.

Source: CDC.gov, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts," Accessed on Feb. 12, 2016

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