Driving in Mississippi or any other state is a lot more dangerous than it used to be. Whether you’re an occasional driver or daily commuter, you’ve likely noticed more cars on the road today that typically travel at much greater speeds than they used to due to increased legal speed limits on many highways. Safely arriving to your driving destination can be quite challenging. Certain issues increase your risk for personal injury when you travel by motor vehicle, whether you’re the driver or passenger.

One of the greatest menaces to Mississippi travelers (pedestrians included) is the driver who is operating his or her vehicle under the influence of alcohol. It’s no secret that drunk driving kills thousands of people every year. As a licensed Mississippi driver, you’re legally obligated to make responsible choices regarding alcohol and operation of a motor vehicle; however, it’s also a good idea to know where to seek support if a drunk driver hits you, resulting in injury.

What is drunk driving?

If you drink a beer then drive to the store, you’re not necessarily breaking the law; however, the amount of alcohol you consume does not determine legal operation of a motor vehicle as much as the level of concentration of alcohol in your blood stream. This means one person’s body might be more affected by one or two drinks than another person’s. In this state, you are committing a crime if you drive with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher. 

This percentage is much lower for commercial vehicle drivers. Also, the state has ‘no tolerance’ laws for drivers who are under the legal drinking age for alcohol. It is critical to know and adhere to all traffic laws and safety regulations to avoid being a drunk driver.

First offenders are often repeat offenders who haven’t been caught

Do you know that a person arrested for drunk driving is likely to have gotten behind the wheel after consuming alcohol many times before his or her first arrest? In fact, data shows that the average licensed driver has likely driven under the influence of alcohol as many as 80 times before he or she gets busted.

Each state legally defines ‘repeat offenses’ by its own guidelines. The penalties under conviction for a repeat offender are usually much more severe than someone facing his or her first arrest. Many victims of drunk driving accidents seek monetary judgment against offenders, using evidence of the fact that prosecutors filed criminal charges to help substantiate their claims.

Startling statistics

In Mississippi and across the country, someone dies in a drunk driving accident approximately every 51 minutes. If you have children ages 14 or younger, they are especially at risk for fatal injuries in alcohol-related collisions. As many as half to three-quarters of drivers who incur license suspensions due to drunk driving convictions continue to drive without a valid license.

It’s understandable that such statistics might cause you to worry about travel safety. The more alert, cautious and responsible you are behind the wheel, the greater your chances are of avoiding collision. However, the state recognizes that you might suffer injury through no fault of your own if a drunk driver hits you, which is why the law enables recovering victims to seek justice in civil court.