Drunk driving is a serious issue that has a big impact on society. For the family members who are left to mourn the loss of a loved one at the hands of a drunk driver, there is little comfort in the fact that drunk driving fatalities are on a downward trend since statistics were first kept in 1982.

From 1982 to 2015, there is a 65 percent decrease in the number of drunk driving fatalities. This is good news, but it still leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Interestingly, the number of drunk driving fatalities in all age ranges seems to be decreasing. Even in the under-21 age group, the number of fatalities has decreased since 1982.

The drunk driving fatality rate has gone down faster than the traffic fatality rate. Since 1982, there has been around a 20 percent drop in the number of traffic fatalities.

The people who are left behind to mourn the loss of a loved one in a drunk driving crash might decide to hold the drunk driver accountable in court for their loss. This can be done in addition to or in the absence of criminal charges. The family members could wage a civil lawsuit, which doesn’t have anything to do with criminal charges.

If the drunk driver does face criminal charges, this could bring another layer of closure to the victim’s family members since they could see the drunk driver facing penalties if he or she is convicted of the charges related to the crash. A successful civil lawsuit would be a bit like icing on the cake.

Source: Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, “Drunk Driving Fatalities,” accessed May 11, 2017