Everyone in Muncie is susceptible to accidents involving drinking and driving. These tragedies do not discriminate against age, race, gender, or whatever stage of life someone is in. There are no “how-to’s” for avoiding, preventing, or decreasing the chances for being involved in an accident caused by drinking and driving, except for one simple statement: Don’t drink and drive. Families and communities come together after terrible reports of these fatal collisions to help spread awareness about the severity of these accidents and what loved ones experience afterward.
The truth is, more fatal accidents with alcohol-impaired drivers occur with other people, such as a head-on collision, rather than resulting in single vehicle accidents affecting the impaired driver alone. A report issued by Indiana University Public Policy Institute records 73 fatal crashes and 83 fatalities involving impaired drivers in 2016. Even though Indiana has seen a decrease of fatalities by 14 percent from 2015, 83 deaths is 83 too many.
But that’s just looking at car accidents with fatal outcomes. Looking at drivers between the ages of 15 to 24 who were involved in collisions under the influence of alcohol, there were 1,092 accidents reported. Out of all the collisions in 2016 involving drivers under the influence of alcohol, 23 percent involved those between the ages of 15 and 24.
Initiatives Taken by the Muncie Community
The members of the Muncie community see the need to inform younger drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. Thankful for proactive and passionate community members, like retired Muncie police officer Bruce Qualls, who is chairman of the Living Proof annual event, the Delaware County Prevention Council is able to organize events that promote awareness and foster conversations about the dangers of drinking and driving in Muncie.
Each year, community organizations along with the Delaware County Prevention Council and students of the Delaware County PRIDE Team reenact realistic storylines of teens being involved in alcohol-influenced collisions.
This year, the event was held last month — right around the time several schools in Muncie and Delaware County hold spring dances, formals, and prom. Since April and May are the worst months for accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers, the portrayal is set around students drinking at a family member’s house before headed to a school dance.
To help parents, families, students, and community members realize the dangers of drinking and driving, first responders such as police and fire department personnel participate in the event with the addition of prosecutors, judges, attorneys, and emergency crews to add authenticity to the reenactment. The main focus is to shine a light on the dangers of drinking and driving and the life-changing effects.
What to Talk to Young Drivers About
To help young drivers navigate the dangers of drinking and driving, talking at home about safe driving tips for teenagers, effects of alcohol on the body, and how to leave places where drinking is present is essential to preparing young drivers for the road.
- It is illegal to drive or operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent. For those under 21, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content greater than 0 percent.
- Even if a person does not appear to be intoxicated, the body’s motor skills are most likely impaired by alcohol.
- If there is alcohol present, call someone who is not drinking to come pick you up.
- Indiana police can arrest a driver if their blood alcohol content is less than 0.08 percent, even if they are 21 or older, as long as they believe the driver is a danger to traffic safety.
Help from a Muncie Car Accident Lawyer
Having loved ones hurt or injured in a car accident with alcohol being the culprit is something that no one wishes to experience. Like any other Muncie car accident, you may be entitled to compensation if a car accident with alcohol causes property damage or personal injury. Call Hensley Legal Group or contact us online for a free consultation.