Drunk driving deaths in West Virginia

Between 2012 and 2015, the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents in West Virginia declined every year.

In the 1980s, Mothers Against Drunk Driving started raising public awareness about the dangers of driving after consuming alcohol. Since then, West Virginia has continued to experience the loss of human life due to people who refuse to give up driving after drinking. However, in recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of deaths attributed to drunk drivers in the state.

How many deaths occur in West Virginia in DUI crashes?

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, West Virginia has been experiencing a decline in the number of drunk driving fatalities it sees in recent years. After a slight increase from 93 deaths in 2011 to 94 deaths in 2012, there have been three years of successive declines. In 2013, there were 91 people killed in alcohol-related crashes statewide. That was followed in 2014 by 84 such deaths and then 71 fatalities in 2015.

How serious is the problem around Kanawha County?

The NHTSA records show that Kanawha County leads all of its neighboring counties in the number of drunk driving fatalities that it has recorded in the five years spanning from 2011 to 2015.

In Kanawha County, a total of 31 people died in that timeframe. Raleigh County had the second highest number of deaths with 17 in all. That was followed by 14 fatalities in Fayette County, 13 deaths each in Jackson and Boone Counties and 10 deaths in Putnam County. Lincoln, Roane and Clay Counties lost eight, two and one people, respectively, in alcohol-related wrecks.

What are some examples of recent accidents?

Metro News reported on the death of a 35-year-old woman in early December 2016. She was killed early one weekday evening when a 26-year-old drunk driver killed her after driving into the wrong lane.

In early 2016, a pedestrian was killed when walking with a friend when a 20-year-old drunk driving drove onto the curb and hit her. The driver did not even stop and was later charged with both DUI causing death and leaving the scene of an accident. The woman who died was a college student visiting friends on a holiday weekend.

WSAZ told how an SUV with five children under the age of 10 and three adults were struck by a drunk driver who crossed the median. Two of the children and two of the adults were killed while the other three children and remaining adult were seriously injured.

Legal help is encouraged for accident victims

Even with a declining drunk driving fatality count, West Virginia still clearly faces a problem when it comes to stopping drunk drivers. Anyone who is injured or loses a loved one in such a crash should consult with an attorney on how to seek compensation.