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In Alaska and across the country, drunk driving accidents continue to be a serious cause for concern. Despite widespread knowledge about the dangers of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, many people continue to engage in this hazardous behavior.
According to a recent study, an increasing number of drunk drivers these days are women. Historically, men have represented a large majority of the individuals arrested for drunk driving each year. In fact, in 1980, the Bureau of Justice reported that just 9 percent of the arrestees for driving under the influence were women. Recently, the Bureau of Justice reported updated statistics and the results were surprising. Currently, women account for approximately 25 percent of all DUI arrests in the United States.
In order to explain the increase in women DUI offenders, a non-profit organization – the Traffic Injury Research Foundation – interviewed approximately 200 women who had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The non-profit sought to identify common characteristics among the women who had been charged with DUI.
The results of the study revealed that about 50 percent of the women charged with DUI were divorced, separated from their spouse or single. In addition, another 75 percent of the women were being treated for various mental health issues – like depression or anxiety – with prescription medications. A large number of the women arrested also indicated that they had recently suffered from a traumatic life event, such as the death of a family member.
Despite the changing composition of DUI offenders, men are still largely responsible for drunk driving arrests and accidents in the U.S. Regardless of the gender of the individual who gets behind the wheel when intoxicated, he or she poses grave risks to others sharing the road.
Across the country, over 10,220 people died in motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for about 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in the country that year.
The statistics in Alaska are similar to the nation as a whole. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 21 people were killed by drunk drivers in Alaska in 2012. Those fatalities accounted for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver in Alaska, you may be entitled to damages to cover the harm caused. In such situations, seeking the advice of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.