Personal Injury Lawyers Bronx and Westchester County, New York

Recommendations for Change as NYC Grapples With Drunk-Driving Problem

Driver has a bottle of alcohol on his lap with the door open.

Drunk and impaired driving statistics for NY, NYC, and the Bronx paint a grim picture.

One of the most common factors in fatal car accidents is alcohol. About 1 out of every 3 deadly crashes involves alcohol-impaired driving, according to a new study.

Researchers at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were quick to note that people drive while impaired or intoxicated (DWI or DUI) on substances other than alcohol. Therefore, impaired driving is likely a much larger contributor to fatal accidents nationwide.

Impaired drivers are a problem in New York City, too. In the Bronx alone, there were 30 drunk driving-related car accidents in December 2022, according to police data.

In NYC, transportation officials and law enforcement are taking measures to reduce the number of drunk-driving and impaired-driving deaths. Police have cracked down on impaired drivers and made more arrests. One of the most controversial ideas to come forward is reducing the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit for drivers from 0.08% to 0.05%. Data included in the NTSB study illustrates how the risk of a car accident increases with higher BAC levels.

"There is no simpler way to reduce the number of lives destroyed by drunk driving than to keep drivers from getting behind the wheel after they've been drinking," said State Sen. John Liu in a statement for NYCDOT. "Plain and simple - reducing the legal blood alcohol content from 0.08% to 0.05% will save lives."

Making their case

Giampa Law supports smart efforts to curb drunk driving. That's because we frequently see the devastating effects impaired crashes have on people and families that are our clients. There were 56 fatal drunk driving deaths in New York City in 2022; 5 of them happened in the Bronx. If a 0.05% BAC  can help save lives, it should be considered. The recent NTSB study, "Alcohol, Other Drug, and Multiple Drug Use Among Drivers," is making the case for reform, high-visibility traffic law enforcement, and raising public awareness to stop impaired driving before it turns deadly.

The following are some statistics about NYC drunk driving accidents and proposals to reduce fatal crashes. If you were injured or a loved one died after being hit by a drunk driver in NYC, contact Giampa Law for a free case consultation. We can answer your case-related legal questions and explain your potential options for compensation.

Alcohol and impaired driving statistics

  • Citywide, there were 188 alcohol-involved crashes in December 2022. That same month, "drugs" were involved in 8 car accidents, and prescription medication was a factor in 1 crash, according to NYCPD.
  • Although, it is not usually thought of as "impaired driving," fatigued driving is also a problem in NYC. Fatigued driving is impaired driving because a lack of sleep diminishes a driver's skills just like alcohol does. For example, drowsy driving caused 63 car accidents in NYC in December 2022.
  • Statewide, almost 40 percent of fatal car accidents involve alcohol.
  • In a 10-month New York study, about 80% of drivers suspected of impaired driving tested positive for substances.
  • The relative crash risk for a driver with a 0.08% BAC is around 2.1. At a BAC of 0.05%, the crash risk is about 1.3.
  • When compared to other drugs, drivers impaired by amphetamine or cocaine were among the most likely to be in an injury-causing or fatal crash.
  • After alcohol, cannabis is the intoxicant most commonly discovered in drivers after a crash.

Recommendations to reduce DWI accidents in NYC

To reduce alcohol and drug-involved fatal car accidents, researchers made recommendations to federal agencies as well as state and local leaders. Here are some recommendations for New York:

  • Require warning labels on cannabis products advising users not to drive after using marijuana.
  • Allow the use of electronic warrants to obtain biological specimens during impaired driving arrests.
  • Enact laws that spell out what it takes for drivers who are under the influence of a drug or multiple drugs to be legally considered impaired.

On a national level, researchers recommend establishing a trauma center-based surveillance system to track drug use among crash-involved drivers.

Hit by an impaired driver in the Bronx? Talk to a car accident lawyer about your legal options.

An experienced car accident attorney can make a drunk driver answer for their gross negligence and demand full compensation for damages suffered by the victim. For more than 30 years, Giampa Law has won cases for clients who have suffered personal injuries in the Bronx, Westchester County, and all throughout New York City.

Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to handle every aspect of your claim and know what it takes to get you real results. A member of our team is available to hear from you anytime, day or night. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation today.

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