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December 2017 now dedicated to impaired driving prevention

Impaired driving affects the lives of drivers, passengers, and bystanders; it is a problem spreading across Missouri and the rest of the United States. On average, alcohol-related accidents lead to one fatality every 50 minutes in this country. As a result, the White House released a proclamation designating December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

The purpose of this is to raise awareness of impaired driving and to prompt individuals, together with their families, friends, schools, churches and community organizations, to do what they can to prevent others from getting behind the wheel drunk. Even one drink can affect driver performance, so everyone is encouraged to be responsible.

In 2012, 4.2 million adults in America admitted to driving under the influence at least once in the 30 days prior to being surveyed. Impaired driving continues to play a part in traffic fatalities; in 2016, more than 10,000 people died accidents involving alcohol. That amounts to 28 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.

In addition to giving law enforcement agencies the resources they need to keep the roads safe, the White House intends to support the manufacturers of advanced vehicle technology by removing regulations that slow them down. It also supports the providers of ride-hailing services.

When car accidents result in the victim's death, the family has the right to file a wrongful death suit. To successfully file one, it must be shown that the decedent did not contribute to the accident through negligence. A lawyer might hire experts to investigate the accident, review the police reports and gather any other important paperwork. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement out of court or go straight to litigation. Since impaired driving is a reckless act, the victim's family may sue for punitive damages.

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