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The alarming truth about drunk driving in West Virginia

Drunk driving is a common safety concern on the roads.  People drink before driving everywhere there are public roads. Although every motorist generally learns that drunk driving is both illegal and unsafe, many people still decide to drive after drinking.

Impaired motorists represent a major hazard for everyone in West Virginia. According to crash data from 2021, a significant portion of the traffic fatalities in West Virginia every year involve drunk drivers. Of the 280 traffic deaths recorded in 2021, 65 of them involved intoxicated motorists. Drunk drivers sometimes cause crashes that injure or kill multiple other people, while they walk away virtually unscathed.

How can safety-conscious drivers avoid contributing to these tragic statistics?

Screening for intoxication

Plenty of adults enjoy alcohol responsibly and drive safely. There can be a fine line between socially acceptable alcohol use and dangerous conduct. People may need to count their drinks and give themselves plenty of time after they’ve finished drinking to sober up before heading home again. Allowing at least one hour per drink, maintaining appropriate hydration and eating food are all ways to reduce the likelihood of becoming too impaired to drive safely.

Watching for unsafe motorists

People can potentially encounter drunk drivers anywhere and anytime. The third shift worker might be drunk at 10:00 in the morning on a weekday. Late at night and early morning are times when people are more likely to encounter drunk drivers. Major federal holidays and the weekends closest to them may also see larger numbers of drunk drivers out on the roads.

The warning signs of drunk driving include driving unusually slow, slowing or breaking for no reason and swerving all over the road. Drivers who notice someone who might have had too much to drink may want to give that motorist plenty of space and choose an alternate route of travel.

Those affected by drunk drivers may have options for compensation ranging from insurance to lawsuits against third parties in some circumstances. Learning more about drunk driving collisions can help people avoid crash risk, and better react should a collision occur. Drunk drivers put everyone at risk, but smart choices can offset some of that risk.

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