Drunk driving is a problem in the United States. In 2016 alone, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence, according to the CDC. Many drivers flew under the radar, so to speak: the number of drivers arrested with criminal charges is only 1% of the actual 111 million episodes of (self-reported) alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.
Now consider the crashes: The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. Far worse than these harrowing statistics, however, are the statistics of actual crashes and deaths involving drivers under the influence. For example, in 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, 214 of their children ages 0 to 14. Every single day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That is a stunning and unacceptable number.
You or a family member may have been injured in a car crash with someone that was driving while intoxicated. Impaired drivers can inflict injuries or even cause death to those unlucky enough to be in their path. The attorneys at McCoy & Sparks, PLLC, are determined to make sure that no one injured by a drunk driver in Central Kentucky has to pay their own medical bills or suffer from loss of wages as a result of a drunk driving accident that was not their fault.
We can help you receive compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s death, and we will help you seek punishment for the offender. Our personal injury law firm has deep roots in the community and a track record of success, securing millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Contact us if you have been hit by an impaired driver.
Drunk Driving in Kentucky
Unfortunately, the national statistics are reflected in Kentucky. We have approximately 80,000 miles of public roads here, not to mention approximately 3,401,165 registered vehicles and 2,989,812 licensed drivers (as of 2016). According to the Kentucky State Police, there were 4,703 alcohol-related collisions in the Commonwealth in 2019. This resulted in 2,431 persons injured and 112 persons killed.
In 2020, the number was even more tragic: the KYTC (Kentucky Transportation Cabinet) reported that 120 people were killed in crashes involving a drunken driver last year. KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said, “These are not just numbers. These are people — mothers, daughters, sons, fathers — who never made it home to their loved ones.” The Kentucky State Police publish figures for each year:
Year Total collisions (Alcohol-Related) Total Injured Total Killed
2015 4,269 2,072 175
2016 4,243 1,974 171
2017 5,350 2,781 157
2018 4,736 2,406 124
2019 4,703 2,431 112
It is also possible to focus on drunk driving collision statistics in each of the 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Unsurprisingly, the county population affects these figures, as you will see in the chart below (using statistics from the KTC). These are the top 20 counties for alcohol-impaired collisions in Kentucky, with the ones near Nelson County in bold type.
|County name||Impaired Rank|
What Does It Mean Legally to Drive Under the Influence?
According to Kentucky state statute 189A.010:
A person shall not operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in this state:
(a) Having a blood alcohol level bac of 0.08% or more, as measured by a scientifically reliable test or tests of a sample of the person’s breath or blood, taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle;
(b) While under the influence of alcohol;
(c) While under the influence of any other substance or combination of substances which impairs one’s driving ability;
(d) While the presence of a controlled substance listed in subsection (12) of this section is detected in the blood, as measured by a scientifically reliable test, or tests, taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle;
(e) While under the combined influence of alcohol and any other substance which impairs one’s driving ability;
(f) Having an alcohol concentration of 0.02% or more as measured by a scientifically reliable test or tests of a sample of the person’s breath or blood, taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle, if the person is under the age of twenty-one (21).
Basically, a driver is considered to be intoxicated if their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is measured at 0.08% or above. The official definition is extremely specific, but KYTC Secretary Jim Gray puts it in simple terms: “Drivers must understand that drugs and/or alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive. You may think you’re fine, but impairment slows judgment, coordination, and reaction times.”
How Could I Be Injured?
There are many injuries that could occur as a result of alcohol-impaired drivers’ slowed judgment and reaction times. Any part of your body could be at risk, but these eight injuries are most common after a car accident:
- Bruising and contusions
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Broken Bones
- Internal Bleeding
At McCoy & Sparks, PLLC, we represent individuals throughout Kentucky who have been victims of drunk driving accidents. With decades of experience, our drunk driving accident attorneys know what it takes to build a case on behalf of an injured victim. After a car accident, having an attorney represent you can make a difference between a positive outcome and the struggle to recover compensation for your injuries. If you believe that another person or party was at fault for your injuries, we may be able to hold them liable for your pain and suffering.
Can I Sue?
Under Kentucky law, if you are injured in a collision, you can sue the person causing the accident if the following conditions are met:
- At least $1,000 in medical expenses
- Any broken bone
- Permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent injury
- Wrongful death from the accident
An experienced accident attorney can guide you through the process of investigation and settlement. If you cannot reach an agreeable settlement, you have the right to sue and ask for a jury trial. If you prove fault and injury, you are entitled to collect the following damages from the intoxicated driver that caused the injury:
- All your medical expenses — past and future
- Loss of all current and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death, including recovery for certain consortium claims
- Property damage
- Punitive damages — if warranted
McCoy & Sparks: In Your Town and On Your Team.
- We’re conveniently located in beautiful downtown Bardstown and represent clients from all across Kentucky.
- We have the experience to handle your auto accident claim and injury claims as well as many other types of cases.
- We get results for our clients, including multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements.
- We truly care about our clients, which you can see from our many satisfied testimonials on Facebook, Google Reviews, and other review sites.
If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you need a team of attorneys to fight for you so you can get the compensation you deserve.