Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows that DUI, cell phone usage and increased traffic are the primary causes of a nationwide increase in traffic fatalities in 2015. This is the first time the number of highway deaths in the US increased since 1966.
In 2015, California experienced 3,175 traffic fatalities on the state’s roads. California is among the 70% of states that saw increases in traffic fatalities during that year. Alcohol was cited as a contributing factor in 914 of those fatalities. This figure represents a small increase from 2014, when 876 individuals died in crashes involving alcohol.
Alcohol-related crashes in California edged up more than 4% in 2015, compared to 2014 levels. That’s higher than the national average. Overall, the national death rate increased by 7.2% in 2015, prompting the NHTSA to re-examine its efforts to reduce traffic fatalities. Until 2015, the number of traffic fatalities declined annually, in part due to the federal requirement that automakers supply seat belts in vehicles.
The NHTSA report also noted that lower fuel costs, higher employment and additional driving by younger drivers may have contributed to the increase in highway deaths. Pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcycle deaths all rose in 2015. The increase in alcohol-related deaths is prompting some states to look more closely at what they can do to reduce impaired driving fatalities.
Ventura DUI attorney
If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, you need the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. The state attempts to discourage drunk or impaired driving through vigorous prosecution. Drunk driving prosecutions are expensive, time-consuming and can result in jail sentences, fines and other sanctions for first-time offenders.
The stakes are high for the state. Federal highway money is often tied to reductions in drunk and impaired driving on the state’s highways. The state cannot afford NOT to prosecute impaired drivers. That’s why you cannot afford to be represented by an inexperienced or ineffective defense attorney.
Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense and has defended hundreds of Californians accused of drunken or impaired driving.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County DUI case.
Photo Credit: Carey Akin, via Flickr.com