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California fatal drunk driving crash statistics are harrowing

Fatal drunk driving accidents in California claimed 10,327 lives in the decade starting with 2003. Thinking of that statistic, it might be shocking to find out that California's death rates for drunk driving accidents are much lower than the national fatality rate for alcohol-related accidents. Still, these fatal accidents devastate families and can lead to claims for compensation from those who are left behind.

The death rates noted are per 100,000 people in the population. The age range with the highest death rate nationally and in California is 21 to 34 years old. The death rate in California is 4.5 people, which is much lower than the national death rate of 6.7 people. For all ages, the death rate in the state is two people, which is lower than the national death rate of 3.3 people.

Males are killed in drunk driving accidents more often than females in both the state and nationally. For males, the death rate is 5.2 people nationally and 3.2 for the state. For females, the death rate is 1.5 people nationally and one person in the state.

For the purpose of these statistics, only accidents involving a legally intoxicated driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 percent were counted. California is trying to prevent these types of accidents from occurring by using several methods. For example, the state has a zero tolerance law for people who are under 21, which means they can't any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Sobriety checkpoints are another way the state is combating drunk driving.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in California," accessed July 20, 2016

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