Virginia drivers may be interested to learn that the number of drunk driving fatalities in the District of Columbia area dropped approximately 15 percent between 2014 and 2015. This decrease followed drunk driving death increases that occurred in 2013 and 2014.
The decline in drunk driving deaths was attributed to counties stepping up to prevent drunk driving through sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and other prevention activities. Even with the overall drop in drunk driving fatalities in the D.C. area, alcohol still plays a major factor in accidents. Approximately 32.7 percent of Greater Washington accident fatalities involved alcohol or drugs. The national average for alcohol or drug-related fatalities is about 29 percent. This essentially means that, even though the number of deaths dropped, there is still work to be done to prevent alcohol and drug-related roadway fatalities.
Historically, the D.C. area has been below the national average when it comes to drunk driving fatalities. In 2015, the number of drunk driving arrests also dropped by 16 percent. Although this could potentially be seen as a positive, it could also be that there was a reduction in manpower available to stop those who were drinking and driving.
Being charged with drunk driving can have serious consequences depending on the person's blood-alcohol content, the number of prior convictions they have and whether the person was involved in an accident. A criminal law attorney may have a defense strategy that could potentially reduce the severity of the consequences. If authorities conducted a traffic stop and determined that the person was drunk, for example, the attorney may try to argue that the authorities did not follow the proper procedures when taking the person into custody. It could also potentially be argued that the breathalyzer test results were inaccurate due to improper calibration.