Over the past few years, Louisiana lawmakers have tightened the DUI laws to combat the growing epidemic of drunk driving accidents across the state. Still, fatalities and injuries due to this gross negligence remain a major problem.
NHTSA reports that approximately 10,511 people die from alcohol-related accidents every year. The CDC broke that down to at least 30 people per day, or one person every 50 minutes.
The same research found that 35.8% of people most likely to drink and drive are millennials (ages 25 to 39). 31.0% are Generation Z (16 to 24-year-olds). 19.0% are Generation X (40 to 54-year-olds), and 14.1% are baby boomers (adults aged 55 to 75).
Louisiana was among the states with the highest alcohol-related accidents, averaging 3,046 deaths. This placed it at 15th in the nation.
Implications and consequences of DUI
Drunk driving endangers the negligent driver, their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. In Louisiana, a DUI offense can result in serious legal repercussions such as fines, jail time, license suspension or revocation, ignition interlock device installation in your vehicle, mandatory community service hours and participation in an alcohol safety education program. Penalties may be more severe for those with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level or if they injure someone while operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The state can also charge the negligent driver with vehicular manslaughter if their actions cause the death of another. In such cases, the driver could face fines and imprisonment for up to 30 years.
Staying safe on Louisiana roads
The best way to stay safe on the road is never to mix drinking and driving. If you plan to imbibe and enjoy a night out, always remember your responsibility: Designate an alcohol-free driver or opt for public transportation or ride-sharing apps.
Ultimately, everyone is responsible for ensuring Louisiana roads stay safe for all users. However, as an individual, it helps to equip yourself with defensive driving skills to add an extra layer of protection.