Every 50 minutes, a life is lost due to a drunk driving accident in the U.S. (NHTSA, 2009). In Arizona, the Department of Public Safety and police departments reported that 7,756 car crashes every year involve a pedestrian or a drunk driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .01 or more (AZfamily, 3/15/11).
While a BAC of .01 may seem insignificant, individuals can react at different levels to alcohol, so even at this low level, some users can actually become significantly impaired.
As the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day approaches tomorrow, the Scottsdale Police Department has placed safety as a top priority during the event. Police officers will be out on DUI inspections at a checkpoint at Palm Lane and Scottsdale Road, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The police will be paying special attention to drivers going southbound on Scottsdale Road, heading from Old Town bars and nightlife.
For every impaired driving fatality, Arizonans pay approximately $3.3 million in monetary and quality of life losses. If alcohol-related crashes in Arizona were reduced by even 10%, it would save $50 million annually in insurance costs.
If only to spare the financial implications of a drunk driving accident, please drink responsibly during your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. AAA Arizona is again offering their free “Tipsy Tow” service starting at 6pm Thursday night through 6am on Friday. You don’t even have to be an AAA member—just call 1-800-AAA-HELP and say you need a “Tipsy Tow” and an AAA truck will provide a free one-way ride home within a 10 mile radius of the starting location.
If you or a loved one has been an injured victim of a drunk driver, we may be able to help. As experienced Scottsdale drunk driving victim attorneys, we have helped many seriously injured innocent victims hold negligent drunk drivers accountable; and we are available to answer your questions at (602) 267-1280.