According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in the state between the years of 2003 and 2012. This is an upsettingly high number and demonstrates the true extent of harm that senseless drunk driving incidents inflict upon Louisiana communities each year.
Drunk driving deaths in Louisiana exceed national averages in all age and gender categories for the studied ten-year period. For example, in 2012, an average of 5.2 per 100,000 men died in drunk driving crashes throughout the nation, but an average of 8.3 per 100,000 men died in drunk driving accidents in Louisiana. For women during 2012, the national rate of death from drunk driving incidents was 1.5 per 100,000, while in Louisiana it was 2.4 per 100,000.
While drunk driving is a major problem in every state in the nation, there are effective steps that communities can take to decrease the rate of senseless deaths from drunk driving accidents. Police led initiatives like sobriety checkpoints can deter drivers from getting behind the wheel when they have been drinking. Also, strong drunk driving laws and penalties can keep dangerous drivers off of the roads and save innocent people’s lives from drunk driving crashes.
However, despite ongoing work to lower the rates of drunk driving accidents Louisiana residents will likely continue to feel the damaging effects of drunk driving losses. When drunk drivers claim lives through violent collisions they disrupt families and cause widespread pain. Their actions can be penalized in the criminal courts but survivors who must pick up the pieces of their lives after losing loved ones in alcohol-related crashes may pursue their losses through civil claims.