DUI Accidents a Real Problem in Suffolk County
Suffolk County has a long, unfortunate history of large numbers of drunk driving accidents. In fact, every year since at least 2001, the county has had more alcohol-related vehicle accidents than any other New York county. Moreover, more people have died in such accidents in Suffolk country in the last 15 years than anywhere else throughout the state.
Long Island law enforcement officials realize there is a problem with driving while intoxicated in the area, yet say many critics are oversimplifying the data. According to some officials, the number of crashes related to alcohol is not an entirely accurate yardstick by which one can compare counties and measure progress in attempting to solve the problem.
For example, Nassau and Suffolk counties have larger numbers of people who are dependent on their own cars than residents of places like New York City, who more heavily rely on public transportation. So while the populations of areas like Queens, Manhattan or Brooklyn are larger than the counties in Long Island, residents here are significantly more likely to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle on any given day than people who live in New York City.
Suffolk County also has a much larger number of rural roads on which speed limits are higher than those in the city, which raises the likelihood of fatal accidents. Federal statistics indicate 53 percent of all fatal crashes in America in 2013 happened in rural areas.
Cracking down on drunk driving
Still, law enforcement officials do realize there is a problem that needs to be confronted. The problem gets even more out of hand on weekends and holidays, when more visitors flock the area.
There have been talks of making driving under the influence penalties stricter, although New York is already one of the toughest states on these offenders. It was one of the very first states to make driving drunk with a child an automatic felony on a first offense and already requires all drivers to use an ignition interlock device after being convicted of DUI.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident, be sure to speak with a compassionate personal injury attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia right away.