McIntyre Law firm, an Oklahoma personal injury law firm, has compiled data that reveals a drastic increase in the number of alcohol-related fatalities in Oklahoma between 2004 and 2008. Over the last year we have noticed a substantial increase in Oklahoma car accidents involving alcohol. This spurned us to review publically available databases to see how Oklahoma stacks up against the rest of the nation. Given the small size and rural nature of our beautiful state, I began the research expecting Oklahoma to be among the nation’s leaders in preventing DUI related fatalities. However, the results were not what I expected and quite frankly are disturbing.
According to our research, Oklahoma’s fatality rate in alcohol –related crashes is 21.95% higher than the average fatality rate across the United States. That means that the fatality rate in alcohol-related crashes per 100 million VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) was 0.50. DUI related fatalities increased 30% from 2004 to 2008. As an Oklahoma motorist I find this unacceptable.
This means that Oklahoma, a state that prides ourself or personal accountability and has shown extraordinary courage and friendliness in the wake of terrorist attacks and natural disasters over the years, is among our nations leaders in drinking and driving deaths.
Further disturbing is that Oklahoma is trending upwards putting each and every Oklahoma citizen at risk for personal injury and/or wrongful death. As the governor and politicians are discussing laws aimed at banning and/or reducing distracted driving via text messaging, we urge them to also take another look at drinking and driving as this problem has not disappeared from our state’s highways and is indeed getting worse.
In the coming weeks we will be bringing more startling facts to the attentions of Oklahomans in the sincere hope that we can band together to stop this upward trend in DUI deaths from automobile accidents.