Drinking and driving can kill innocent pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists, yet some people get behind the wheel while impaired anyway. The Virginia Highway Safety Office published traffic crash facts from 2014, including alcohol-related crashes.

The VHSO defines an alcohol related crash as a “crash where a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian is listed on the police report as drinking before the crash.” In order to determine if alcohol was consumed beforehand, police often rely on someone’s blood alcohol content. In order for a crash to be considered alcohol-related, the person’s BAC must be .01 or greater.

While there was a slight decrease in the number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes from 2013, there were still 251 people who lost their lives. Another 5,003 people were injured, which decreased by 5.39 percent from 2013.

Eleven teens between the ages of 15 and 19 were killed and 377 were injured in alcohol-related crashes.

The overall number of DUIs in the state dropped by just under 9 percent — 24,895 people were convicted. The average BAC of those who were tested was .141. Males made up 72.2 percent of the DUIs, while females made up 22.9 percent.

A BAC of .08 or greater was recorded for 18,801 people, which is a reduction of 10.36 percent from the previous year. The month with the highest number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes was August, when 41 people lost their lives. Fairfax County, Virginia, had the highest number of alcohol-related fatalities.

These are just a few of the sobering statistics about alcohol-related crashes in Virginia. If you were injured or if you lost a loved due to a drunk driver, you have recourse to seek compensation through the civil court system. An experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney can help you understand what you need to do after the accident.

Source: ww.dmv.state.va.us, “2014 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts,” accessed May 13, 2016