With the arrival of summer comes congested highways. More students on break from school, families on vacation, and tourists clog Massachusetts’ roads. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when more drivers endanger their own lives and others’ by hitting the road after drinking.
In Massachusetts, recent car accidents caused by drunk drivers have drawn attention to the deadly issue of impaired driving.
On May 14, two vehicles crashed on Route 95 in Burlington, resulting in one fatality. Glenn Robichaud, 55, of Bedford, was a passenger in the vehicle driven by an allegedly impaired woman. Robichaud died at Lehey Clinic after sustaining severe injuries in the crash. Nicole Parziale of Amesbury was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and other offenses.
On June 24, Nicholas Jackman, 23, caused an accident in Worcester that killed 43-year-old Lynn M. Strzelewicz. Jackman is being held on negligent driving charges, and drunk driving is suspected.
These are only a few of the many drunk driving accidents that take lives each year in Massachusetts and across the nation.
Driving While Impaired
In 2002, all fifty states enacted the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent. If a person operates a motor vehicle with a BAC of over .08, he or she can be charged with drunk driving. Driving while impaired negatively affects a driver’s judgment, depth perception, vision, and reaction times.
There is some good news. The state of Massachusetts saw its lowest numbers of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2008 and 2009, with 151 and 108 deaths, respectively. Alcohol related fatalities were most frequent in the state during the 1980’s and peaked at 409 fatalities in 1983.
However, those numbers can be deceiving. What is most unsettling about alcohol-related fatalities in 2009 is the high number of drivers involved in fatal crashes with an extremely high blood alcohol content at the time of the accident. Seventy-two percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes that year had BAC levels of 0.15 percent or higher.
If You Were Injured By a Drunk Driver
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim on top of the criminal prosecution against the drunk driver. Speak with a Massachusetts personal injury attorney to learn whether you can recover compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.