Drunk driving accidents represent a significant portion of vehicle crashes in Ohio. For example, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported that 27.4 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in Ohio were caused by drunk driving in 2014. More than half (58 percent) of wrong-way drivers involved in crashes were found to be under the influence, according to a 2013 report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP)
The issue of wrong-way drivers bears further review of the data provided by the OSHP. For example:
- Around 17.5 percent of drivers involved in wrong-way crashes had multiple prior OVI convictions.
- Nearly 70 percent of drivers involved in wrong-way accidents had at least one prior OVI conviction.
- The majority of wrong-way crashes in the nighttime hours were caused by drivers under the influence.
These are Ohio statistics about wrong-way drunk drivers. Other statistics about drunk driving are just as frightening. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 30 people in the United States die every day as a result of drunk driving crashes, or one every 51 minutes. The financial cost of these accidents amounts to more than $59 billion annually.
Statistics such as these become real when we read news stories about injuries and deaths caused by drivers under the influence. For example:
- A man was recently arrested on suspicion of OVI and aggravated vehicular assault near Dayton after he crossed the center line and struck a car driven by a Palestine woman. She and her passengers were seriously injured.
- A 61-year-old man was seriously injured in Stark County in September by an 18-year-old driver suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- In July in Hamilton County, a female motorist accused of being drunk left another driver with broken vertebrae and spinal displacement after a crash.
- Last winter, a utility worker was killed in Boone County, Kentucky, by an allegedly drunk woman who faced numerous charges that included criminal mischief, manslaughter and wanton endangerment.
A driver convicted of a criminal offense after a drunk driving accident could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison as well as fines. In some instances, the driver would have a felony record. In addition, drivers who kill or injure others could face wrongful death or personal lawsuits in civil court, which could cost them much more.
If you were injured in an accident caused by an OVI driver, it is important to get knowledgeable and compassionate help from an experienced attorney so you can learn whether you might be eligible for compensation.