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MADD: Drunk driving accidents mostly caused by first-timers

When a serious accident takes place, it can be the natural tendency to assume the worst about the person who might have caused it. For example, if a victim is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident in Pennsylvania, one might guess that the drunk driver has a history of wrongdoing.

As too many victims and their families learn following a severe motor vehicle accident, it only takes one act of negligence to change lives. Mothers Against Drunk Driving echoes that sentiment, but by using statistics. Research suggests that most fatal drunk driving accidents involve a driver with no history of DUI arrests.

Repeat drunk drivers who cause accidents ignite a heightened level of outrage among victims and the public. Critics of the legal system will wonder how someone who has been cited for DUI in the past was on the roads and in the position to threaten the lives of innocent people. Statistics regarding deadly drunk driving accidents, however, indicate that the public should focus on more than repeat offenders. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 93 percent of impaired drivers in deadly DUIs throughout the country have no prior drunk driving arrests. The public shouldn't stop caring about laws regarding multiple DUIs, but numbers show that it is a wider population of drivers, those without prior convictions, that need to learn a lesson before it is too late. 

Whether an alcohol-related crash in Pennsylvania was the result of a repeat or first-time drunk driver, an accident victim's rights are generally the same. A car accident lawyer can explain those rights to a victim or the family of someone who was killed in a preventable collision. 

Source: PolitiFact, "MADD says most drunken-driving deaths caused by first-time offenders," Feb. 11, 2014

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