Drunk driving remains a problem in North Carolina

Between 2011 and 2015, Cumberland County experienced more drunk driving fatalities than any of its six neighboring counties.

Despite what may seem like continual public education and awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of driving after drinking, drunk driving continues to plague North Carolina.

How many people die in North Carolina because of drunk drivers?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, North Carolina saw a dramatic jump in the number of motor vehicle deaths attributed to alcohol in 2015 compared to the previous four years. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of drunk driving fatalities each year was relatively similar. On the low end in 2011, there were 359 such deaths. On the high end in 2012, there were 372 such deaths. Sadly in 2015, a total of 411 lives were lost on North Carolina roads at the hands of drunk drivers.

How serious is the problem in Cumberland County?

In looking at the NHTSA statistics, it is clear that Cumberland County resident face some very serious risks when it comes to drinking and driving. In fact, the county recorded more drunk driving fatalities across the five years from 2011 to 2015 than did any of its neighboring counties.

Specific data shows the following:

  • Cumberland County experienced 72 total drunk driving deaths .
  • In Robeson County, there were 63 such deaths.
  • Harnett County was the location of 41 deaths in drunk driving accidents.
  • Moore, Sampson and Hoke Counties recorded 26, 25 and 24 fatalities, respectively.
  • Bladen County lost eight lives in drunk driving crashes.

The details surrounding these deaths may well vary but one essential fact is shared. All of these deaths were preventable if the people responsible for the crashes had not chosen to drive after drinking.

What are some examples of recent accidents in North Carolina?

Reports of drunk driving accidents happen often, because these accidents happen often. A Saturday afternoon that should have been like any other for a woman and her three children, aged between one and 11, was anything but. WCNC reports that a drunk driver first rear-ended one vehicle and then ricocheted off and struck the vehicle carrying the mother and three kids. The woman and her six-year-old child were killed in the accident and the driver now faces multiple charges including two counts of death by vehicle as misdemeanors.

A 22-year-old Mexican national faces potential removal back to his home country after his involvement in a drunk driving crash that killed three of his own passengers and injured the other three passengers. The News and Observer indicates that his attempt to correct a maneuver led him to hit two objects before rolling his vehicle. This incident comes five years after he was convicted of another drunk driving offense.

The Daily Mail explains how a woman with two previous impaired driving convictions and another DWI arrest has clearly not learned her lesson. The 23-year-old was in Charlotte when she went across a median and hit a vehicle carrying a married couple, their daughter and the wife's mother. The husband has since undergone multiple surgeries while the wife and daughter required hospitalization. The grandmother died. In addition to felony charges for the death and injuries, the driver has been charged with pot possession and reckless and careless driving.

What can accident victims do?

Knowing that there is no way to bring a loved one back after death, family members should reach out to a lawyer. Talking with an attorney can give North Carolina residents accurate information about how to seek compensation for their losses.