The residents of Minnesota, collectively, have more than one-half million “alcohol related” driving offenses on record. Moreover, one in every eight (1:8) persons in Minnesota with a driving record has a DWI.
Recently, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) released data that 131 motorists died in “alcohol-related” crashes last year, which represents a 21 percent reduction from five years ago. From 2005-2009, Minnesota averaged 487 traffic deaths per year whereby approximately thirty-five percent were “alcohol related”.
The DPS as well as public opinion seems to attribute this reduction to improved driver decisions, enhanced enforcement and education campaigns. However, it is important not to simply join in the conclusions of others and cast judgment upon those involved in an “alcohol related” incidents.
Much like the concept of Presumption of Innocence (which is guaranteed to each person by the Constitution), we owe it to our fellow Minnesota residents to spend the time to fully appreciate the conclusions set forth. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a fatal crash as “alcohol related” or “alcohol-involved” if at least one driver or non-occupant (i.e., a pedestrian or bicyclist) involved in the crash is determined to have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or 0.01 gram per deciliter (g/dl) or higher. Thus, any fatality that occurs in an alcohol-related crash is considered to be an “alcohol-related” fatality. Similarly, NHTSA will also define a nonfatal crash as “alcohol-related” if police indicate on the accident report that there is evidence of alcohol present. What does this mean? Essentially, if you were walking down the street with a BAC of 0.01 and you get hit and killed by a sober driver, your fatality will be included in statistics for “alcohol-related” fatalities.
There is an enormous amount of information on the internet. If you have questions or do not understand something, make sure to take the time to seek capable help. Likewise, if you anticipate or have been charged with an alcohol related crime (e.g., DWI DUI) in Minnesota, please contact a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer for assistance or arrange a free case evaluation.