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Teens and Dangerous Driving

Posted on Thursday, 04 June 2015 in Drunk Driving Accidents

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car crash lawyer, teenage drinking and driving,Alcohol has long been considered the most dangerous factor that impairs drivers on the road. According to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and as reported by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD),the rate of drunk driving is highest among young drivers — 23.4 percent of all reported drunk drivers are 21 to 25 years old. This is likely because of social norms that dictate young adults are the most common bar patrons; it may also have to do with the fact that younger drivers may not yet have systems in place to ensure that a designated driver is present.

The numbers are even more dire for drivers who are not even yet technically legal to drink ever: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers aged 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have an illegal blood alcohol content (above .08 percent) than if they were not drinking at all.

It is not all bad news when it comes to teens and drinking, however. The CDC reports that since 1991, the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has declined 54 percent. While this is a significant decline, the CDC also reports that in 2011 nearly 1 million teens drank and drove.


Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,There is no shortage of stories of drunk drivers who caused major accidents and then got behind the wheel again — drunk. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one-third of people driving drunk on the road are repeat offenders, meaning that they have been arrested for or convicted of DWI in the past. The problem appears to compound itself as well: the NHTSA reports that drivers with prior DWI convictions are also more likely to be in fatal crashes. Only 3 percent of all licensed drivers had one prior arrest for DWI within the previous three years; disproportionately, 12 percent of all DWI drivers involved in a fatal crash were repeat offenders.

Such is the recent case in Chicago, in which a man, who served a five-year prison term for a drunk-driving crash that killed a teenage girl in 2003, was found slumped behind his steering wheel after hitting two parked cars. According to the Chicago Tribune, however, because of sentencing guidelines, the man could spend less than a year in prison, and remain on parole only a year after his release; despite the fact that he was also driving on a suspended license at the time of arrest.

Many victims of drunk driving accidents — and legislators— believe that though a person may serve jail time when convicted for the criminal offense of drunk driving, a person faces little consequences on the administrative side of the system when he or she applies for a new license. In Illinois, drivers who are convicted of DWI are expected to serve "hard time" for the offense, meaning they are not legally allowed to drive, period. This leads some to simply drive, sometimes drunk, without a license. A new law being discussed in Illinois would require all convicted drunk drivers to install a breathalyzer ignition device in the car; but would not require for the suspension of a license.


Illinios injury attorney , Illinois car crash lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney,According to the most recent statistics, drunk driving crashes in America kill more than 10,000 people every year and leave more than a half million others injured. However, a new study has found that when alcohol taxes are increased, drunk driving deaths are decreased.

The study, “Effects of a 2009 Illinois Alcohol Tax Increase on Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes,” was conducted by researchers from the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Institute for Child Health Policy, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville. It was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study used statistics from the state of Illinois, which raised the alcohol tax in 2009. The tax on beer was raised by 4.6 cents per gallon, 66 cents per gallon on wine, and $4.05 per gallon on distilled spirts. The team looked at accident data from the previous 104 months before the tax was enacted and then the 28 months following its institution. This data was gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, wrongful death,Earlier this year, a popular Chicago DJ was driving drunk and speeding at more than 90 MPH when his car slid off Lake Shore Drive into a frozen lagoon. A woman, a 37-year-old mother, was killed in the accident, and while the DJ suffered a fractured vertebrae and hand injuries, he survived the wreck. Police who arrived on the scene said that the man smelled like alcohol, and when they tested the man for a blood alcohol content, it registered at .17, more than twice the legal limit.  He was ordered to be held in lieu of $1 million bond.

The grisly Humboldt Park crash illustrates a sad and somewhat staggering statistic about drunk driving—the drivers responsible for the crash are often more likely to survive than their passengers. This idea is often expressed by loved ones of those lost in drunk driving accidents, but there are statistics to back up the hunch. A recent study put out by California researchers found among drunk driving accidents, when not taking into consideration the severity of the injury, 1 percent of drunk drivers were killed in an accident, while 7 percent of sober patients died.

The study also found that there may be a scientific reason for this seemingly unfair phenomenon: alcohol physically loosens a person up, and the alcohol then acts as a buffer that inhibits certain chemicals that are released when a person suffers a major injury. These chemicals are related to stress. One researcher for the study who is a trauma surgeon at a California hospital said that she and other team members are currently looking into whether or not alcohol can subsequently be used in some way to increase survival. This is particularly the case with patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, as pre-injury ethanol appears to reduce the risk of mortality in that instance as well.


Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois car accident attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyer, traffic offense,Auto accidents are the result of a variety of factors that can result in injuries and unexpected costs to victims. When on the road, drivers should not only be concerned about their driving capabilities, but be aware of other drivers on the road.

Traffic safety is legally enforced to protect drivers and passengers, but unfortunately thousands of driving moving violations occur each year, many of which result in car crashes. Three of the most common reasons crashes occur are:

  • Inattentive driving;
  • Fatigued driving; and
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Inattentive driving is a hazard that has begun to occur more frequently due to the advancements in technology. People take their eyes off the road to look at their mobile devices and in a second, an accident can occur. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, an estimated 660,000 U.S. drivers are using mobile devices while driving at any given daylight moment.


Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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