Recent national headlines have shared a heartbreaking story that happened right here in the Silver State—a 25-year-old woman accused of driving under the influence wrecked into another vehicle at reportedly more than double the posted speed limit (103 mph in a 45 mph zone) resulting in multiple severe injuries and the needless death of an 8-year-old boy.
This “100 percent avoidable” accident, as the captain of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department called it, is yet another contribution to the climbing number of deadly DUI crashes in the Las Vegas Valley area; in spite of a overall decline in DUI’s throughout the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) latest study shows drunk-driving fatalities are down by one-third in the past three decades.
Unfortunately, too many individuals like the one charged in this fatal crash are choosing to drink and drive. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state every 50 minutes someone dies in an accident involving a drunk driver.
A recent ranking by Insurify showed Reno and Sparks both listed among the nation’s top 25 cities with the highest number of DUIs—each far outranking the national average.
Recently for the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Nevada Highway Patrol and other state law enforcement agencies banded together through a Joining Forces campaign, dedicating additional officers to patrol for incidents of DUI, speeding, distracted driving, and pedestrian safety.
Yet, such efforts did not prevent all deaths. For the week from August 31 to September 7, there were 16 DUI deaths in the state of Nevada, according to the Office of Traffic Safety. “It really comes down to personal responsibility. We need the public’s help. Law enforcement can’t fix this all on our own,” commented Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Jason Buratczuk in response to what some are calling an increasingly “selfish” driving community.
Ultimately, those who drive under the influence are putting themselves and other drivers at risk. Impaired driving is a deadly decision creating innocent victims who require justice, closure, and help rebuilding shattered lives.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.