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DUI deaths, Chicago drunk driving injury lawyersAccording to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, drunk driving costs the United States (and its taxpayers) more than $132 billion each year. Higher insurance and tax rates, even for those not driving under the influence, time and gas expenses for traffic congestion, and long-term medical bills of those severely injured are just a few of the factors involved in that cost. Probably the most devastating cost of all is the lives lost to drunk driving.

Nearly one-third of all automobile deaths involve a drunk driver, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says that drunk driving crashes cause one death every 50 minutes. And an emergency physician with the University of Michigan Health System says that each drunk driver will make about 80 trips under the influence before they are stopped—either by the police or because of an accident.

It is clear that we must do something, not just because of the damage that drunk driving is having on society and our pocketbooks, but because of the devastation that it is causing American families, each and every day. Most efforts have only been reactive, but a recent analysis suggests being proactive in the approach by installing sobriety tests in all new cars, not just in those that belong to convicted DUI offenders.

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DUI accident victims, personal injury lawyer in ChicagoAccording to statistics from the Illinois Secretary of State, nearly 10,000 drivers were arrested for DUI in Cook County in 2012, leaving thousands of victims vulnerable to motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities.

In recent weeks, the Chicago Tribune reported a man was charged with leaving the scene of an accident that left a woman trapped inside her vehicle upside down. Later the woman was taken to the hospital where her left hand had to be amputated as a result of the collision.

Police on the scene were able to capture the license plate number of the driver responsible and he was taken in and held on $100,000 bond. Investigation into the case had not yet reported alcohol-related driving as a factor, but regardless of a DUI charge, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury or death is a Class 4 felony in Illinois. It carries a possible sentence of jail time of up to three years.

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