According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Richmond had the second-highest number of alcohol-related car crashes among all cities in the state last year. Richmond had 318 alcohol-related auto collisions in 2012, behind only the city of Virginia Beach, which had 512.
The DMV report counted car accidents involving drivers who were under the influence of alcohol, though it does not conclude that every accident was caused by the intoxicated driver. During the years 2008-2012, Richmond was among the top three cities for these types of auto accidents each year.
Henrico County, the densely populated area around the city of Richmond, also has ranked highly in the state for the number of alcohol-related crashes. Henrico County has had the third- or fourth-highest number of alcohol-related crashes among all counties each year since 2008.
Across the state, 229 people were killed in alcohol-related car crashes in 2012, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
To reduce drunk driving accidents, Virginia lawmakers passed a bill in April that requires first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles. Ignition interlock systems are equipped with blood alcohol testing devices that prevent drivers from starting the car if they have a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08, the legal limit for DUI. Virginia is the 17th state to adopt this regulation for first-time drunk driving offenders. The ignition interlock law came into effect July 1.
More than 18,000 Virginians are now required to use ignition interlock devices, according to the Washington Post. The Washington Regional Alcohol Program, which supported the ignition interlock bill, pointed to the more than 29,000 annual DUI convictions in Virginia as a good reason to embrace the new policy. The bill’s co-sponsor, Henrico County Democrat A. Donald McEachin, had no trouble finding support for the idea, and the legislation passed with little opposition.
Have you been injured or lost a loved one to a drunk driving accident? The attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates help residents of Richmond who have been hurt in accidents caused by other people’s carelessness or negligence. With many years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases, the legal team at McDonald and Associates will fight vigorously to win your case.