New Year’s Resolutions: Reducing Risks of Alcohol-Related Car Accidents in Chicago

This is the third entry of a 6-part blog where our Chicago car accident attorneys are discussing New Year’s resolutions that you can use to help make our roadways safer for everyone. Usually, residents will make resolutions to quit smoking or to lose weight. But how about making a New Year’s resolution that everyone can benefit from this year, pledging to practice safer and sober driving habits.In this blog, we will be discussing the dangers of drunk driving and asking you to make the pledge to stay sober behind the wheel to help reduce the risks of a fatal alcohol-related car accident in Chicago in 2012. Take the recent accident that made national headlines, for example, in which a drunk Chicago driver allegedly swerved off of the roadway, ran into some trees and slammed into the Chicago’s Gresham District police station. Reports indicate that the driver sped away from the police station after the crash, but officers were able to catch up with the man just a few blocks away.

The man is being charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, according to the New York Daily News.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the number of drunk driving arrests in the state has decreased in the last year. Although a reduction, the dangerous truth is that there are still far too many people dying on our roadways because of the carelessness of intoxicated drivers.

According to the most recent statistics, the number of drunk driving busts have decreased by more than 15 percent from 2007 to 2010. The number of alcohol-related accidents has decreased by nearly 35 percent during this same time.

Some people point to the increase in DUI enforcement efforts and stricter laws as the cause of this decrease while others believe that it’s a direct result of the downturn of the economy.

Stricter DUI laws have in fact decreased the number of drunk driving busts. The first wave of decreases came with the new DUI laws of the 1980s and the 1990s. In 1997, our state reduced its legal blood-alcohol content limit to 0.08 from 0.10. From 1996 to 1999, the number of arrests went from just under 45,000 to about 50,000. The number of arrests remained stagnant at 50,000 for a number of years until a notable decrease in 2008, which was around the start of the economic downtown. As the economy recovers, experts believe that the number of DUI arrests and accidents will increase.

We’re asking all motorists in the state to make their New Year’s resolution to stay sober behind the wheel. We’re not saying you have to stay sober, we’re just saying you should as you drive. Be sure to always designate a sober driver if you know you’ll be going out and drinking. Have a safe and Happy 2012 and be responsible behind the wheel. Your good decisions can help to save lives.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident in Illinois, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Chicago drunk driver crashes into police station
, by Roque Planas, New York Daily News
DUIs take a big drop in Illinois, by Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune
More Blog Entries:

Fatalities in Drunk-Driving Accidents in Illinois Drop Over the Years
December 31, 2011
State Receives Recognition for Combating Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois
November 21, 2011

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