Drunk driving fatalities are all too common in Minnesota and throughout the rest of America. In fact, they make up one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. As blood alcohol content levels reach and exceed the legal limit of .08 percent, the alcohol begins to impair a driver’s perception of distance and speed, reaction times and judgment. Drivers under 24, those convicted of DUI in the past and motorcyclists are at the highest risk for DUI-related deaths.

Younger people are generally at a higher risk because of inexperience in driving and their tendency to ride in groups, which can create a variety of distractions. Mixing alcohol with drugs and alcohol will also increase the risk.

The most common causes are head trauma, abdominal trauma and blood loss. For example, the head could be traumatized by blunt force on the steering wheel, flying debris or even the pavement. Furthermore, internal organs could rupture from blunt force to the steering column or be pierced by glass and other sharp objects. With rapid blood loss comes hypovolemic shock, which can be fatal if emergency personnel don’t come in time to replace the lost blood.

Those accused of DUI could face jail time and license revocation. This is why individuals should make sure that intoxicated friends and family members never get behind the wheel.

An accident victim who has been injured by a drunk driver could sue for compensatory as well as punitive damages. They may want to discuss their intentions with a lawyer, however. An attorney could estimate a fair settlement after looking into the evidence of the defendant’s guilt.