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Labor Day festivities too often marred by DUI accidents

Drunk driving is a serious problem in every state, but at certain times in Florida, we see spikes in drunk driving accidents. At the end of summer, just before and during the Labor Day weekend, the risk of being involved in a DUI accident is significantly higher.

To combat drunk driving in the lead-up to Labor Day, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced its anti-drunk driving initiative, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." As U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx put it, "Drunk driving is a deadly and preventable crime that destroys lives and costs the nation billions of dollars every year." With that in mind, let's consider some of the immense costs a family may have to confront in the aftermath of an injurious drunk driving accident.

The NHTSA reports that each year more than 10,000 people lose their lives in DUI crashes. The economic cost associated with even a minor injury suffered in a DUI accident averages out to about $22,000. When you account for lost quality of life, the cost is increased by more than $25,000.

If you suffer critical injuries in a DUI accident, then the NHTSA estimates that the basic economic costs will come to more than $1.1 million, while the costs of pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life are likely to be valued at nearly $5 million. Of course, each case is different, and people who have been injured because of a drunk driver should have all of the damages fully assessed.

In addition to being prosecuted in criminal court, drunk drivers can be held liable through civil claims of personal injury or wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a DUI accident, then you may want to explore your legal options for receiving compensation and holding the wrongdoer accountable.

Source: NHTSA.gov, "U.S. Department of Transportation Kicks Off Nationwide 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Crackdown," Aug. 13, 2014

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