Illinois saw 867 fatal car accidents in 2012, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Specific data is not yet available with regard to how many of those crashes were related to alcohol use. Though holiday accident data for 2012 is also not yet available, historically accidents related to alcohol increase during holiday weekends such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010, more than 10,000 people died in U.S. highway accidents involving a drunk driver. Fatal accidents can result in lawsuits, including wrongful death claims.
Several Chicago Area Fatal Accidents Occurred in 2012; Police Poised to Crack Down
Throughout 2012, including in recent months, there were multiple arrests of Illinois drivers accused of operating a vehicle under the influence in incidents causing injuries or deaths. According to the Rockford Register Star, a 25-year-old Rockford man was arrested on Dec. 17 after being involved in a crash that resulted in the death of a 73-year-old man. The driver was charged with driving under the influence and related charges.
Dallas Cowboys football player Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter following a car accident that killed fellow player Jerry Brown, according to the Los Angeles Times. Brent reportedly had a blood alcohol level that was double the legal limit immediately after the accident. After the crash, a Breathalyzer test was administered even though Brent refused it because the law permits forced tests when an accident results in death. Brent also failed a field sobriety test.
On Nov. 30, a 19-year-old man pleaded not guilty in a suspected drunk driving accident resulting in the death of a 23-year-old woman, according to the State Journal-Register. The accident occurred on Illinois Route 125 near Philadelphia, and the case is being heard in Cass County Circuit Court.
Police in East Peoria cracked down on drunk drivers in 2012, especially during the holidays, in a campaign called the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over/Click It or Ticket Crackdown. Seat belt enforcement zones also were set up. Officers in Sangamon County conducted a similar program.
Finding a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident
Illinois residents who have been injured in drunk driving accidents or holiday car accidents in Chicago and other parts of Illinois should seek legal advice, especially if they've incurred medical fees or other expenses.