Is drunk driving still a problem in Ohio and Kentucky?

Despite strong laws against drunk driving in Ohio and Kentucky, both states have experienced an increase in the number of people killed by negligent drunk drivers who refuse to put away their keys when they consume alcohol.

Since the 1980s, advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. It should be no surprise to anyone in Ohio or Kentucky that operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol is not only unsafe and negligent but can also be illegal if a person's blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08%

Unfortunately, there continue to be far too many drivers who seem more focused on their own immediate wishes than on the safety of others. Ohio and Kentucky have both recorded an increase in drunk driving deaths in the recent years.

Ohio drunk driving fatalities

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that Ohio saw its drunk driving fatalities increase for four consecutive years from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, there were 266 such deaths and in 2017, 333 people across the state lost their lives at the hands of intoxicated drivers. During those five years, fatalities in which alcohol was a factor contributed to anywhere from 27% to 30% of the state's total automobile accident deaths.

Kentucky drunk driving fatalities

In 2013, Kentucky recorded 166 vehicular fatalities related to alcohol. In 2017, that number had increased to 181, after a one-year dip to 176 in 2016 from a high of 192 in 2015. Drunk driving deaths accounted for as many as 26% of the state's total accident deaths for every one of the five years spanning 2013 to 2017.

Drunk driving laws may not be tough enough

Many states around the nation require ignition interlock devices for all people convicted of impaired driving offenses. However, a driver in Ohio or Kentucky may not be required to install and use an IID until they are faced with a second or subsequent offense within a 10-year period.

In Ohio, drivers convicted of a first charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol may be subject to a driver's license suspension for up to 12 months. They may, however, be able to reinstate their driving privileges by voluntarily using an IID.

In Kentucky, a first drunk driving offense may result in a license suspension of only between 30 days and 120 days.

Accident victims deserve help

Anyone who has been involved in or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a selfish, drunk driver deserves compensation. Reaching out to an experienced attorney in Ohio or Kentucky after such an incident is recommended.

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