One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
North Carolina is taking serious efforts to reduce this statistic.
The NCDOT recently released their numbers for their "Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker" campaign, aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the road during Independence Day festivities from June 28-July 7. The result?
1,737 people were arrested on DWI charges.
In addition to DWI arrests, officers statewide issued 4,194 safety belt violations and 15,972 speeding violations. They also apprehended 1,379 fugitives from justice and recovered 92 stolen vehicles.
Operation Firecracker formed seven DWI taskforces across the state in areas with the highest numbers of DWI-related deaths. Those taskforces were responsible for more than a fourth of the arrests statewide.
According to the press release, the newest taskforce (in Guilford County) already made a significant impact. During 2012'sOperation Firecracker, there were 50 DWI arrests. But this year, Guilford County officials caught 146 drunk drivers.
"Law enforcement officials statewide continue to play a pivotal role in keeping those who drink and drive off the roads," said Don Nail, director of the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Year round and especially during 'Booze It & Lose It' officers are going above and beyond the call of duty to keep our highways safe."
How to spot a drunk driver
Here are some telltale signs of drunk drivers:
- Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center lane
- Making wide turns
- Nearly striking other vehicles or objects
- Driving with the windows down in cold weather
- Driving at a slow speed or stopping without cause
- Erratic braking
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Reacting slowly to traffic signals
- Forgetting to turn on headlights or using turn signals incorrectly
If you see any of these actions, call 911 immediately.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27 people die as a result of drinking and driving crashes each day.
You could save lives.
How to tell if you've been hit by a drunk driver
When you're in an accident, it may feel like your head is spinning and everything is out of control. But if your injuries aren't too serious, try to stay composed and observe what's going on around you - you may be able to pick up on important details that could help your insurance claim down the road.
This is especially important if the other driver has been drinking. Not only will it likely make a difference in your insurance claim, but it may also help reduce the risk to others, if the driver can finally learn his/her lesson.
1) As soon as you're in an accident, pay attention to the other driver's behavior. If they're slurring their speech, seem less coordinated, cannot walk straight or focus their eyes, or if their eyes seem abnormally glossy or red - ask the police to test the driver's alcohol level, when they arrive.
2) When the police arrive, pay attention to the officers' actions and watch to see if any tests are done. Don't be afraid to ask questions and, in general, get as much information as you can as to what is going on.
3) Also, as in any accident, make sure that you document information like the driver's license plate number, the vehicle make and model, descriptions of the accident and even the driver - and take pictures if possible. Drunk drivers may be more likely to drive off after the initial incident.
4) Tell the police everything you can remember about how the accident happened. You may even want to draw a picture and take pictures of things like skid marks, street signs that were ignored, the weather, etc. This will help the police determine causes and they may be able to pick up on something relating to the driver's condition.
Have you've been hit by a drunk driver?
What makes drunk driving such a heart-breaking issue is that each injury it causes could have been prevented.
At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we're dedicated to helping the victims pick up the pieces that drunk driving causes. Click here to see what our clients have to say.
If you were hit by a drunk driver, call us for a free, no-obligation, case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078.