Abels & Annes

Binge drinking research – DUI drivers too often endanger Illinois residents

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An alarming new federal report shows the battle against drunk driving is far from over: 1 in 10 binge drinkers got behind the wheel of an automobile the last time they drank heavily, driving away from a bar, restaurant or nightclub after downing five or more drinks and putting everyone in their path in danger.

The Chicago car accident lawyers and drunk driving accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have blogged this year –both here and on our sister site www.chicagocaraccidentlawyersblog.com –about the increase in drunk driving cases against women, the high rate of night and weekend car accidents caused by drunk drivers, and the overall dangers of drunk driving.

One out of every three fatal crashes in 2008 was alcohol related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In this latest study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 percent of 14,000 binge drinkers surveyed admitted to driving after their last bout of heavy drinking.

All had five or more drinks; half admitted to having seven or more drinks; 1 in 4 admitted to consuming at least 10 drinks before driving. The report highlighted the need to do a better job of preventing bars and restaurants from serving intoxicated patrons.

Illinois’ Dram Shop laws permit injured parties to attempt to recover damages from restaurants or bars who serve intoxicated patrons who cause serious injury or death to an innocent party. in other words, Chicago car accident victims who are injured by a drunk driver can sometimes make a claim, not only against the at-fault driver, but against the establishment that severed the alcohol.

Dr. Timothy Naimi, of the CDC’s alcohol program, attributes binge drinking to more than 11,000 deaths a year. He called Dram Shop laws “among the most disregarded laws in the country.”

“The drinking location is really important,” Naimi said. “We’re trusting these licensed establishments to serve responsibly, and more than half of the intoxicated people who drive have been drinking in these places.”

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed by a drunk driver, the Chicago car accident attorneys and drunk driving accident lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights.