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Drunk driving crashes: risk factors

Ohio residents who drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater are guilty of drunk driving. In spite of the heavy punishment that comes with an OVI conviction, though, drivers continue to do it and put themselves and others at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2018, one person was killed in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes.

These are some common risk factors in drunk driving crashes. One is age with younger drivers forming the majority of drunk drivers. In 2018, for instance, 27% were between the ages of 21 and 24 while 26% were aged 25 to 34. Teenagers are susceptible, too. NHTSA estimates that setting the minimum drinking age at 21 has saved nearly 32,000 lives between 1975 and 2017.

Most drunk drivers in fatal crashes (25%) are motorcyclists. Drivers of no other vehicle type see a higher percentage. It is telling that of the 4,675 motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2018, 1,213 (just over a quarter) were drunk. Fifty-three percent of these victims were over the age of 40.

Drivers caught with a BAC of .08 or higher are 4.5 times more likely than sober drivers to have a prior OVI conviction. Also, men are four times more likely to drive drunk than women.

A drunk driver is a negligent driver and a reckless one. Those involved in a crash with a drunk driver may want to know to what degree that driver was at fault. In Ohio, victims can file a personal injury claim after a crash and recover damages as long as they are deemed less than 50% to blame. With a lawyer, they may be able to negotiate for the maximum settlement possible. Investigators may obtain the police report and other evidence against the defendant.

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