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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Buzzed Driving Accidents

Mar 16 2017, by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents

buzzed driving

The facts are sobering: 28 people in the U.S. die each day in motor vehicle accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even more shocking are the facts that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) calculates this to be one death every 53 minutes while the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) estimates annual costs of alcohol-related crashes total more than $44 billion.

Quite simply put, alcohol and getting behind the wheel never mix, and buzzed driving accidents can prove as incredibly dangerous as accidents in which the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher.

If you or someone you love has been the unfortunate victim of someone driving while buzzed, then you need to explore Chicago car accident lawyers who can help you seek damages. Contact Staver Law Group at for what you need to know about compensation for your pain and suffering.

Reality TV Gets Really Real

The dire outcomes of buzzed driving accidents made headlines in 2011 when Ryan Dunn, star of MTV’s “Jackass,” killed both his passenger and himself after crashing his car on the highway in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Dunn posted a photo of himself drinking on his Twitter account hours before the high-speed accident, but the bar manager who was among the last to see him alive told local media that he did not appear drunk. While he was indeed drunk – a toxicology report later determined his BAC was .196 percent – simple steps can and should have been taken to prevent him from driving even if he had only been buzzed. For example, Dunn could have either designated a driver or requested a cab, but these recommendations are too little, too late.

Even A Little Alcohol Increase Risk

Sociologists David Phillips and Kimberly M. Brewer at the University of California, San Diego examined the accident and injury data of more than 570,000 collisions between 1994 and 2011 as documented in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System. They concluded that even drivers with a slight buzz place other drivers at greater risk than sober drivers. In fact, even drivers with just .01 percent BAC, the lowest level recorded in the dataset, were 46 percent more likely to be solely blamed for a crash than sober drivers.

This is because even what may be considered an extremely low BAC results in some loss of judgment, increased relaxation and an altered mood. These effects can cause a decline in visual functions and a reduced ability to perform two tasks simultaneously. Other low BAC effects can include loss of small-muscle control like focusing one’s eyes and diminished alertness, both of which can create steering difficulty and a decreased ability to track moving objects like other vehicles on the road. Besides, nothing indicates that a driver’s capacity significantly changes between .07 percent BAC and .08 percent BAC, so the idea that buzzed car accidents are less likely because a driver is not legally drunk is completely false.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer for Help

While nothing can take away the physical, emotional, and psychological pain you have suffered as a result of the carelessness evident in buzzed driving accidents, Staver Law Group can help you determine if and how best to seek financial compensation. We will review all the facts to make an informed decision about next steps even as we will help you navigate them to your advantage. Learn how Staver Law Group can make a difference by calling to schedule a free consultation.