Stricter DUI Laws Had a Positive Effect In Virginia
Virginia has had tougher DUI laws for a decade now. I was pleased to read in a recent report in the Virginian-Pilot that they appear to be working.
The newspaper reported how a decade ago in 2004 lawmakers in the Commonwealth decided to get tough on DUIs and drafted more than 70 bills containing stiffer penalties.
The Pilot reported on how DUI deaths have dropped by 21 percent according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Accidents linked to alcohol have fallen about 30 percent but convictions have remained steady.
While the figures appear to be impressive they should be seen in the context of a national trend in which alcohol-impaired driving fatalities fell by 23 percent in the US between 2005 and 2012. However, the laws represented Virginia catching up with the rest of the nation.
“For years the Commonwealth lagged behind other states in enforcing impaired driving laws. The General Assembly rejected efforts to lower the legal limit for driving from 0.15 to 0.10 percent blood alcohol content,” reported the Pilot.
Although Virginia has seen a steady decline in DUI offenses, the trend reversed to some extent in 2013 when there were 253 fatalities. Fairfax County saw the highest number of DUI linked deaths with 40, followed by Virginia Beach with 27, Chesterfield with 26, Norfolk with 25 and Henrico with 24.
It’s alarming to me as a Norfolk and Virginia Beach DUI accident lawyer to see the figures for these two cities. Just a few days ago a young man was killed by a driver who was later charged with a DUI, when he was broken down on I-64.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 or see Cooperhurley.com.