Drunk driving continues to be a very big problem in the United States, and it will probably continue to be until we replace human motorists with computer-controlled vehicles. It’s hard to believe, but 10,265 people were killed in 2015 as a result of drunk driving. These auto-related deaths account for 29 percent of all vehicle crashes.

Could it be that if drivers in Virginia and the rest of the country were more responsible, and refrained from getting behind the wheel drunk, we could save over 10,000 lives a year?

Law enforcement officers are being more proactive than ever to stop drunk drivers before they cause a serious crash. In 2015, police arrested 1.1 million drivers for being either too drunk or too drugged to drive.

According to statistics, 16 percent of vehicle crashes are the result of legal and illegal drugs. Also, 13 percent of nighttime drivers have marijuana in their blood. Recent evidence shows that people to use marijuana are 25 percent more likely to get into an auto crash.

It’s difficult to believe, given the overwhelming evidence of the dangers associated with drunk driving, that anyone would dare to drive while intoxicated. Considering the fact that they are negligently and recklessly putting their and others’ lives at danger — not to mention the criminal consequences — why would anyone engage in this unconscionable behavior?

If you or a loved one got hurt by a drunk driver or if your close family member was killed, you may be able to pursue personal injury or wrongful death claims in civil court. If successfully navigated, such a claim could bring you and your family financial restitution and justice for your damages.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired driving: Get the facts,” accessed July 27, 2017