As many of you know, a drunk diver in Anchorage recently took the lives of two young girls. During the Aug. 16-18 weekend, Anchorage police made 34 DUI arrests as part of a national campaign to crack down on drunk driving.
I recently found statistics from The Century Council: Distillers Fighting Drunk Driving & Underage Drinking.
The most recent numbers are from 2011, but still give a good idea of the gruesome impact driving under the influence has on the Last Frontier.
According to the site, there were 20 total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2011. Four of those deaths were underage drinkers (under 21 years old).
That means out of 100,000 people, 2.8 died in an alcohol-impaired driving accident. An underage drinker died 1.8 times out of 100,000 people in Alaska.
It is also notable that the 61 percent of alcohol-related fatalities in 2011 involved drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of .15 or higher (the legal threshold is .08).
Fortunately, we are seeing some improvement in the overall amount of alcohol-impaired fatalities over the past decade. From 2001 to 2011, alcohol-impaired fatalities are down 58.2 percent. Underage alcohol-impaired fatalities decreased by 43.7 percent in that time span.
As far as overall arrests, The Century Council provides more interesting data for 2011.
4,420 Alaskans were arrested for DUIs; 57 of those arrested were under the age of 18.
In addition, 2,603 were arrested for violating liquor laws; 603 of those arrested were under 18-years-old.
Drunkenness arrests totaled 102 in 2011, while 11 of those were Alaskans 18 or younger.
The sad thing about all these numbers is the fact that they are all preventable. I implore you to be smart about your alcohol consumption and ask that you please turn over the keys if you’ve had too much to drink.
As an experienced personal injury attorney, I’ve handled many claims against drunk drivers and have seen firsthand the devastating effects poor choices with alcohol have on others.
If you have any questions about claims against drunk drivers, or have been in an accident caused by someone driving under the influence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.