How Many People Die Each Year From Drunk Driving?

focus is on a set of car keys next to an alcoholic beverage. A man holding the glass is blurred out in the background.

Drunk driving is a serious problem that claims thousands of lives every year. It seems that no amount of effort to raise awareness about the issue deters people from engaging in this risky behavior. As a result, it’s important to understand the statistics of drunk driving deaths and their impact on everyone involved. It’s also important to know your rights in case you or someone you love is ever injured by a drunk driver.

If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.

How many deaths are caused by drunk driving?

Drunk driving is amongst the leading causes of death in the U.S. There are more than 300,000 drunk driving accidents annually, just in this country. These lead to more than 17,000 drunk driving deaths per year. It’s worth noting that drunk driving doesn’t just affect the impaired drivers. It’s often innocent passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists who pay the price. 

Does life insurance cover drunk driving death?

According to Investopedia, your insurer may not pay benefits if someone dies participating in a risky activity. While this usually references risky hobbies like hang gliding and auto racing, drunk driving could undoubtedly fall into that category. In other words, it’s not always a straightforward situation. Every company and policy is different, and some don’t have specific exclusions for drunk driving deaths. 

Is drunk driving a felony?

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges vary from state to state. In general, first-time offenders are treated as misdemeanors. However, they can be escalated to felonies for the following reasons:

  • If there are multiple offenses
  • If the driver’s blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.15 or higher
  • If there are children in the vehicle
  • If they cause serious injuries or death

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver or a loved one has been killed, it’s important to seek the help of a qualified drunk driving lawyer. A good lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and see that you get the compensation you deserve.

How do you sue a drunk driver for injuries or wrongful death?

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, you may be wondering how to seek justice and get compensation for your loss. In these cases, you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death suit against the drunk driver.

The first step in suing a drunk driver for injuries or wrongful death is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in drunk driving cases. A good lawyer can help you gather evidence, build a strong case, and fight for your rights in court.

To win a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver, you’ll need to prove that the driver was negligent or reckless and that their actions directly caused the injuries or death. This process can involve gathering evidence such as police reports, eyewitness testimony, and medical records.

You’ll also need to calculate the damages you’re entitled to receive. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and sometimes funeral expenses.

Once you have built a strong case and calculated your damages, your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf. From there, the case will proceed through the legal system, which can involve negotiations, mediation, or a trial.

It’s important to note that each state has different laws and procedures regarding personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, so it’s crucial to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the laws in your state.

How can you prevent drunk driving accidents?

While we can’t control the actions of others, we can certainly do our part to prevent unnecessary accidents.

  • Plan ahead when you intend to drink. Designate a driver or plan to get a ride home by calling a taxi or rideshare service.
  • If you’re hosting a party, do your part to keep your guests safe. Ask everyone as they arrive what their plans are for getting home and try to make sure they stick to them. You could possibly even hire a driver to take guests home if they’ve had too much to drink.
  • Be aware of your own limitations. If you don’t drink alcohol often, a drink or two could affect you much differently than someone else.
A drunk driving injury lawyer sitting at their desk with a gavel and a statute of lady liberty

How a drunk driving injury attorney can help

Receiving injuries or losing a loved one to drunk driving is a catastrophic event, and you may find it necessary to sue the person responsible. At Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, you can speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in drunk driving cases. We can help you understand your legal options, gather evidence, and fight for your rights in court.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.


Leading Causes of Death. (2023)

Folger, J. (2022). Which Types of Death Are Not Covered by Life Insurance?

Impaired Driving: Get the Facts. (2022)

Matthews-El, T. (2022). Is a DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor?