Ohio and Kentucky continue to be plagued by drunk driving

Drunk driving continues to be a problem in Ohio and Kentucky, claiming lives despite public awareness and education and strict penalties.

Residents in Ohio and Kentucky have reason to be concerned about drunk drivers. Stories continue to come out about people who make the dangerous choice to get behind the wheel of vehicles after consuming alcohol. Just how serious is this problem?

What are some examples of recent drunk driving problems?

Fox19 Now reported on a story in which a man rear-ended another vehicle earlier this year and has now been sentenced to six months in jail for the death of the other driver. In addition, the casino at which the drunk driver had consumed as many as 20 alcoholic drinks was also cited for serving him. The man's blood alcohol level was said to be nearly three times the 0.08 percent legal limit for intoxication.

A driver believed to be impaired was going the wrong way on a stretch of Interstate 10 according to KSAT. Despite the best attempts of another driver, the drunk driver hit two cars and sent two people to the hospital.

WLWT5 told about a situation in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday when a woman apparently passed out and her vehicle ran into a gas station. Another person was able to get into her vehicle and stop it. An infant was in the vehicle and treated by emergency responders.

In 2007, a man killed his friend in a drunk driving accident and subsequently spent time in prison for the death. Now, the same drunk driver has caused yet another crash. Not only was the passenger injured but the driver left the scene of the accident while the passenger had to call for emergency help.

How many people have died in drunk driving accidents?

In looking at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, it is clear that the war on drunk driving is far from over.

Statistics show that between 2011 and 2015, 92 people died in drunk driving accidents in Hamilton County, Ohio. In neighboring Kenton, Boone and Campbell Counties in Kentucky, another 17, 12, and 11 people were killed, respectively.

Statewide, the number of vehicular fatalities attributed to alcohol in Ohio went up from 310 in 2011 to 389 in 2012 and then dropped to 266 in 2013. The subsequent two years saw more increases first to 302 in 2014 and then to 313 in 2015.

In Kentucky, the pattern is similar but starts with a drop for two years from 172 deaths in 2011 to 169 and then 166 fatalities in 2012 and 2013, respectively. As seen in Ohio, the number of lives lost to drunk drivers jumped again in 2014 to 171 and in 2015 to 192.

What should accident victims do?

People who are injured in drunk driving crashes or who lose family members should take action immediately. Contacting an attorney is a recommended step toward seeking compensation and continuing to get the word out about the dangers of drunk driving.