It should be expected that every driver today knows how dangerous it is to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol. As penalties for drunk driving have evolved over the years and awareness of the options available for getting to and from events at which alcohol is served has also grown, there is no reason for people to continue dying or being injured in such accidents. Unfortunately, that does not seem to stop people from making reckless decisions that put others in harm’s way.
Even those tasked with upholding driving under the influence laws seem unable to be trusted. The Day reported on how a man who was a police officer caused a head-on collision in Stratford due to driving into oncoming traffic with a blood alcohol content at least three times the legal limit. A 19-year old woman was left with multiple injuries and, while the officer eventually resigned, he only received a suspended sentence.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, across the United States, alcohol was a contributing factor in between 29% and 30% of all traffic fatalities every year between 2014 and 2018. In Connecticut, however, the picture is far worse. Drunk drivers killed anywhere from 37% to 42% of all people who died in vehicular accidents statewide in those five years.
In 2017 and 2018, the overall number of traffic fatalities in Connecticut was less than in 2016 yet the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents was greater. This trend logically begs the question as to whether or not the state’s laws are strong enough or are sufficiently enforced.