Many people in New York consider the right to drive a vehicle a relatively basic right. Driving is often the only way that a person can get to or from work, therefore making it an essential component of providing for themselves and their families. It is important, however, for people to remember that driving also comes with some significant responsibilities. Every driver should operate their vehicle with safety as a top priority. Sadly, this does not always happen. A classic example is that of the person who chooses to drive when they are intoxicated.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 2018 saw a four-percent increase in the percent of overall traffic fatalities associated with alcohol compared to the prior year. In 2017, there were 288 drunk driving deaths recorded in New York. These deaths represented 29% of all accident fatalities statewide. In 2018, the state experienced 307 such deaths, representing 33% of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents that year. Drunk drivers claimed 28% of lives lost in accidents in both 2016 and 2015, down from 30% in 2014.

In Erie County, alcohol was noted to be a contributing factor in 29% of all accident deaths recorded in the five years spanning 2014 through 2018.

If you would like to learn more about how to seek help after you or someone in your family has been involved in a crash caused by a negligent impaired driver, please feel free to visit the drunk driving crash assistance page of our New York State motor vehicle accident and personal injury website.