Impaired driving in Tennessee encompasses more than those who drink and drive. People also often drive impaired while under the influence of illegal drugs. Many others drive while impaired by legal prescription medication or certain over the counter drugs that affect the person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Any one of these types of impaired driving can result in criminal charges, and all of them cause a substantial risk of serious personal injury to others as a result of a car accident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person dies every 51 minutes in the United States as a result of an impaired driver. Statistics demonstrate that nearly 30 people die every day in drug or alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.

In 2012, 31 percent of all fatalities resulted from impaired driving accidents. In that year, 10,322 people lost their lives in such accidents. People continue to drive impaired despite the dangers they pose both to themselves and others. In 2010, for instance, 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence.

Unfortunately, many people continue to be seriously injured or killed in car accidents caused by drunk or impaired drivers every year. Despite the major risks to others on the nation’s roads, people continue to get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t be driving. In addition to facing potentially serious criminal charges, drunk drivers who injure or kill others may also be held responsible for the damages suffered by the victims and families of those who are injured or killed due to their wrongful actions. When people are seriously injured at the hands of an impaired driver, they may be able to recover compensatory damages for their losses they sustained as a result.

Source: CDC, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts“, November 14, 2014