It’s no secret that drunk driving kills but the number of fatalities linked to intoxicated drivers varies year on year. Our attorneys are sometimes asked how many deaths are caused by drunk driving in Virginia.
In 2017, almost 250 people were killed in Virginia due to the actions of drunk drivers. The figure of 248 was a 5.3 percent decrease compared to 2016. Although the number of fatalities linked to drunk drivers has been falling over the long term there is no room for complacency. Last year 248 people needlessly lost their lives because a driver had one drink too many or took drugs. People are still taking the risk and getting behind the wheel when they should know better.
Over the summer months, the number of accidents linked to drunk drivers typically increases and more inexperienced teen drivers get into their cars drunk.
How Many Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Driving in Virginia?
Last year 7,285 crashes were caused by drunk drivers in Virginia, according to Virginia Traffic Crash Facts published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The number of alcohol-related accidents was a 2.6 percent decrease on the figure for 2016. These crashes led to 4,430 injuries.
Drunk driving can be indiscriminate. If you drive intoxicated, there is a high chance you will end up being seriously injured or killed. Even if you escape injury, you may lose your liberty and have to live with causing heartache to a family that loses a loved one.
Who Are the Victims of Drunk Drivers in Virginia?
In 2017, drivers were most likely to be killed by the actions of a drunk motorist in Virginia. The breakdown was as follows:
- 165 drivers killed;
- 28 passengers killed;
- 55 pedestrians killed.
The state figures reveal alcohol-related crashes only account for 5.7 percent of all accidents on the roads of Virginia and 6.8 percent of crashes with injuries. However, wrecks caused by drunk drivers are more likely to be fatal. The 248 DUI crashes comprised 29.4 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2017. In past years, drunk drivers caused as many as a third of all fatal wrecks.
Are Fatal Drunk Driving Crashes More Likely to Be Single or Multiple Vehicle Wrecks?
Fatal wrecks caused by drunk driving in Virginia are more likely to be single vehicle accidents. Last year, 174 people lost their lives in single-vehicle crashes caused by impaired driving and 74 people in multi-vehicle crashes. Often a drunk driver may veer off a road and be killed. However, passengers are frequently the victims of single-vehicle wrecks caused by an intoxicated driver.
How Many People Are Convicted of Drunk Driving in Virginia Every Year?
In 2017, 18,701 people were convicted of drunk driving in Virginia. That was a 6.1 percent fall on 2016. People who commit a first DUI in the Commonwealth face up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 and a license suspension of up to a year.
Are Men or Women More Likely to be Convicted of Drunk Driving in Virginia?
More men drive drunk in Virginia, according to state figures. In 2017, almost 68 percent of DUI convictions were of men and 23.9 percent were females. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states far more men than women die each year in motor vehicle crashes. The IIHS says men drive more miles than women and are more likely to engage in risky driving practices like not using safety belts, driving while drunk, and speeding.
What Age Are Victims of Drunk Driving Most Likely to be In Virginia?
Although there is considerable concern about teens and drunk drivers in Virginia, the age group most likely to fall victim to drunk driving in Virginia is legally allowed to drive but only just. The 21 to 25 age group has the highest number of drunk driving deaths and injuries. These figures include drunk drivers who are injured or killed. In 2017, 40 people in the 21 to 25 age group lost their lives in alcohol-related deaths on the roads of Virginia including 5 pedestrians and 9 passengers. In all, 830 alcohol-related injuries were reported.
Which Virginia Cities Are the Most Dangerous for Drunk Driving?
Unsurprisingly, the urban areas of Hampton Roads, Richmond and south of Washington D.C, saw the most alcohol-related deaths.
Virginia Beach, the largest city in the state, recorded the most alcohol-related deaths, 13. Fairfax County in northern Virginia saw 12 DUI related deaths in 2017. There were 8 alcohol-related deaths in Norfolk, 6 in Newport News and 5 in Chesapeake last year.
Call an Injury Lawyer over an Accident Caused by Drunk Driving in Virginia
Although the number of fatalities linked to drunk driving in Virginia has fallen at a time when overall road deaths is rising, there is no room for complacency. One death or injury caused by a drunk driver is one too many. Please call our Virginia Beach drunk driving injury lawyers at (757) 333-3333 if you or a loved one has been hurt by an intoxicated driver.