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Study assesses drivers at high-risk for DUI car accidents

When taking to the road in San Diego and across the nation, it is known that there is always the chance of a car accident. One of the frequent cause of collisions with injuries and fatalities is drivers who are under the influence. While law enforcement and legislators are trying to find strategies to reduce the number of drivers who drive drunk, researchers are also considering ways to improve safety. This information can be useful for those who were injured or lost a loved one in a DUI auto accident.

A study from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests that a main problem with DUI cases is that drivers who have problems with self-control need a more personalized style of treatment to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders.

According to the numbers, almost one in three people who died on the road in 2018 did so in a motor vehicle accident involving drinking and driving. That means that there were 29 of these accidents each day or one every 50 minutes. Stopping drunk drivers and penalizing them is the common strategy used, but researchers suggest that this approach is proven to be ineffective.

In its conclusion, the study's authors suggest that personalizing the punishment against these drivers could have a more positive outcome than just adhering to the basics of the law as it currently stands. Identifying why the driver is choosing to get behind the wheel after drinking and does so repeatedly is believed to be a more effective way to prevent future collisions.

Still, drunk drivers are a known hazard and the research backs this up. Around one-third of fatalities due to an impaired driver involve a repeat offender. Two-thirds of drivers who were in a fatal car crash had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher. That is nearly two times the legal limit. In the last decade, there was a rise of 16 percent of fatal accidents involving an impaired driver who had both drugs and alcohol in the system.

Obviously, any method that can reduce the number of injuries and fatalities because of DUI car accidents should be considered and tested to see if it works. However, people who have been injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident because the other driver was under the influence should also pay attention to the troubling statistics that sparked the research and the attempt to find alternative strategies in the first place.

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