Deadly Las Vegas minibus crash highlights severity of drunk driving

In September 2015, a 24-year-old man was arrested in Las Vegas following a drunk driving incident that resulted in devastating consequences. News 10 reported that the man, driving a BMW, blasted through a red light and struck a minibus waiting at the intersection. The minibus overturned and caught fire. Meanwhile, the intoxicated driver hit another car before also bursting into flames. Three injured passengers were able to escape the minibus, but two others were trapped inside and died. The drunk driver was charged with two counts of DUI resulting in death and three counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm.

Why does drunk driving remain such a pervasive problem across the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that each day, about 30 people are killed in car crashes involving a drunk driver. This equals about one death every 48 minutes. Those who are most at risk include younger people between the ages of 21 and 24, drivers with previous DUI convictions and motorcyclists.

Drunk driving facts and information

In 2012, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 10,322 people across the United States were killed in drunk driving accidents and an additional 290,000 were injured. Here are some more sobering facts on drunk driving:

  • The top cause of death for teenagers is car crashes, and about a fourth of those involve a drunk driver who was underage
  • About a third of those arrested for DUI are repeat drunk drivers
  • Two out of three people will experience an alcohol-related accident at some point in their lifetime

According to the National Safety Council, law enforcement agencies have implemented numerous strategies to combat drunk driving. These include setting a blood alcohol content limit (currently .08 percent in every state); setting up sobriety checkpoints in states where they are legal; holding regular community and school education programs on drunk driving; passing laws requiring ignition interlock devices for drunk drivers (the severity of these laws vary by state); and enacting specific penalties for underage drunk drivers. These measures are important, since it is estimated that at least 40 percent of all motor vehicle deaths are caused by alcohol.

When to contact an attorney

Most people can agree that drunk driving laws are vital, but some may believe that more can be done to stop this national epidemic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 79 traffic fatalities related to alcohol use in Nevada in 2013, and more Nevadans lose their lives to drunk drivers every year. If you or a loved one were impacted in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may wish to contact a personal injury attorney with experience in drunk driving cases.